See below for links to lecture videos and transcripts.
Mabo Day occurs annually on 3rd June. It commemorates Eddie Koiki Mabo (c. 29 June 1936 to 21 January 1992), a Torres Strait Islander whose campaign for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights led to a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia that, on 3 June 1992, overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius, which had characterised Australian law with regards to land and title since the voyage of Captain James Cook in 1770.
Eddie Koiki Mabo was an Australian man from the Torres Strait Islands who was also a staff member at James Cook University, working as a groundsman from 1967 to 1971.
From 1973 to 1983 Eddie established and became the Director of the Black Community School in Townsville. During this time he enrolled as a student and studied Teaching at the (then) College of Advanced Education, which later amalgamated with the university. It was through his association with JCU humanities and education staff, Professor Henry Reynolds and Associate Professor Noel Loos, that Eddie became interested in who owned the land on which his people lived, and in Native Title.
Eddie's legal pursuit of these issues resulted in one of the most significant legal cases in Australian history, in that it completely overturned the idea ofterra nullius (land belonging to no one) and challenged traditionally held beliefs about how Australia came into being, and about ownership of land.
On 3 June 1992, six of seven Australian High Court judges ruled: The Meriam people are entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the lands of the Murray Islands.
For many at JCU, the landmark legal decision has been rendered personal, as well as political and historic, because of Eddie's important association with JCU staff and students, and with our surrounding communities.
Prof N M Nakata
The Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP
Transcript: Taking up space, taking our place
Ms Shannan Dodson
Transcript: Recognition, national identity and our future
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen QC
Transcript: Mabo and Others: Products or Agents of Progress
Professor Henry Reynolds
Transcript: Mabo 20 years on. Did it change the nation?
Mr Mick Gooda
Professor Chris Sarra
Transcript: Our identity on our terms
Professor Ross Garnaut
Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Professorial Fellow in Economics, The University of Melbourne Distinguished Professor, The Australian University
The Hon. Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Transcript: Beyond Mabo: Native title and closing the gap
Professor Larissa Behrendt
Transcript: The long path to land justice
Mr Hugh Mackay
Transcript: Every community needs its place
Fr Frank Brennan