Eddie Mabo Land Rights

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Native Title or Land Title is a common law that allows indigenous people to own their traditional land and/or waters. In 1993 Native Title became a part of Australian law because Eddie Mabo influenced the high court to understand and acknowledge the bond that some indigenous groups share with their land/waters. Torres strait islanders or aboriginals are now able to claim native title over land that isn’t residential freehold, farms held in freehold, residential or commercial purpose leases, public works such as hospitals, roads or schools this is because “Land ownership is an important foundation for economic activity by indigenous people.” (Native Title And Land Rights) this is why the Australian government provides a large and important amount …show more content…
In 1959 Mabo moved to Townsville and later in 1974 Land Rights became his focus. Mabo found out that ‘his’ land was in fact crown land when he was out for lunch with Noel loos and Henry Reynolds who were colleagues at the time “we were having lunch one day when Koiki was just speaking about his land back on Mer, or Murray island. Henry and I realised that in his mind he thought he owned that land, so we sorta glanced at each other, and then had the difficult responsibility of telling him that he didn’t own the land, and that it was crown land. Koiki was surprised, shocked… he said and I remember him saying ‘no way, it’s not theirs, it’s ours.’ “ (Loos & Reynolds, n.d.). During 1981 Mabo gave his first land rights speech which was held at the James Cook University in Townsville. In his speech, Mabo explained the traditional land ownership and inheritance system that the community followed on Mer island. Many in the audience saw the significance of Mabo’s speech including a lawyer who suggested that there should be a test case to claim land rights through the court system. Solicitor, Greg McIntyre took the case and represented Mabo and they both applied for research grants from the Australian Institute Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) which was

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