Mabo Day

Photo: Mike Coghan, Two Nations (Some rights reserved)

AustraliaJune 3 is Mabo Day which marks the anniversary of the landmark decision of the High Court of Australia that overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius.

The Mabo Oration is a biennial event presented by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland and QPAC. It celebrates and pays tribute to Eddie Mabo and the landmark High Court decision which legally recognised that Indigenous people had a special relationship to the land that existed prior to colonisation.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Mabo Day. Here’s what it is and why it matters – SBS
What is Mabo Day and why is it significant?

Recommended Listening
Theology after Mabo – Dr Anne Pattel-Gray for Reconciliation Week – The Mabo decision was a legal and cultural milestone in Australia, but thirty years on, how has it changed theology? For decades Dr Anne Pattel-Gray has been calling for racial justice in and through Christian churches. She says Mabo “shifts our whole perspective of how we interpret the Bible, of how we do theology.”

Mabo Day: IndigenousX founder Luke Pearson to deliver the Mabo Oration

Mabo Day indigenous forum – Will the Uluru Statement translate into genuine progress for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?

The Mabo Oration 2013
Aboriginal Sovereignty – Redefining native title as the inalienable right to hold and develop our lands, territories and resources.
Join speaker Les Malezer, co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First People, to pay tribute to the work of Eddie Mabo and examine current issues facing Australia’s First Nations’ Peoples. Les Malezer is from the Butchulla/Gubbi Gubbi peoples in southeast Queensland. He has extensive experience in campaigning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and has represented community interests at local, state, national and international levels. In 2008 he won the Australian Human Rights Award and his contribution to coordinating Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy for the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly is well known and respected.

Recommended Viewing
Judgement Day – Four Corners – Liz Jackson reports on the impact of this historic judgement, the reaction it inspired and the inside story of the negotiations to create the law that would pave the way for Native Title. We hear from the power brokers who forced the nation to confront its history, and their critics. Related: The Drum

Koiki (‘Eddie’) Mabo was a crusader for Indigenous land rights: fighting and winning a ten-year legal battle with the Queensland Government in the High Court of Australia in 1992. As a result of this court ruling, the proposition known as Terra Nullius was struck down and Koiki became an icon in the struggle for recognition and land rights by the Indigenous peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait. He died shortly before the High Court brought down its verdict. –

Manning Clark House

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