Eddie Mabo Case Study

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Eddie Mabo was a Torres Strait Islander born on Mer or Murray Island; he fought to change how British colonies believed that the land they had colonised was terra nullius (no man’s land) (Reconciliation Australia, 2014). The British colonies thought that because they could not see established aboriginal people, farms and houses which were all characteristics of the life back home in England, which they believed that the Aborigines had no connection to land (Korff, 2015). Because of this British colonies took the land and called it their own without any acknowledgment of the true owners of the land (Reconciliation Australia, 2014)

Mabo made a speech in 1981 at the James Cook University of Queensland where he spoke about his people’s beliefs about the ownership and inheritance of the land (Reconciliation Australia, 2014). A lawyer overheard Mabo’s speech and approached Mabo if he would like to challenge the Australian Government in the court system to settle the issue on who are the rightful owners of the Land on Murray Island, Mabo agreed (Reconciliation Australia,).

Mabo’s case went on for 10 years (Korff, 2015). On the 3rd of June 1992, The High Court ruled that the British Crown had gained a title to the land of Australia. The Aboriginal people were still
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‘Furthermore it set out to process the determination of native title rights and dealings on native title land” (Korff, 2015). Interests and rights they had in the land and water of Australia were now recognised by the High court (Korff, 2015). “The benefits of the native title act allowed indigenous people with evidence of ownership proving that the land belongs to them and they belong to the land” (Korff, 2015). They are also allowed access to traditional land so they can hunt and have cultural ceremonies, which without a native title would be illegal (Korff,

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