Country, Culture, People, Future

Mabo decision

Anniversary of the Mabo Decision

Posted: June 3rd, 2014

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Today marks 22 years since the landmark decision  Mabo v. Queensland (No 2). That High Court decision overturned the doctrine of terra nullius, which was the legal fiction that Australia was unoccupied land when the British arrived, and had allowed Australian governments to ignore Aboriginal land rights for so long. The High Court found that native title exists, and that traditional owners have rights to the land, in accordance with traditional systems of law, except where those rights have been expressly extinguished (for example, through private ownership).

As a result of the High Court decision, the Federal Government, led by Prime Minister Paul Keating, introduced the Native Title Act 1993 to say how native title can be recognised.
The anniversary of the High Court decision, 3 June, is a public holiday in the Torres Strait every year, and also marks the end of National Reconciliation Week.

For more information visit Reconciliation Australia‘s resources page or  www.mabonativetitle.com 

National Reconciliation Week 2014

Posted: May 30th, 2014

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National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.

To learn more, get involved, and access resources to share, visit http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/