Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait island of Mer.
National Archives of Australia/AAP
The Mabo decision changed Australia's concept of land ownership. It was a divisive yet important step toward recognising Indigenous rights and establishing native title.
Paul Keating recognised the significant opportunities – and political risks – the High Court’s Mabo decision presented.
National Archives of Australia
Cabinet papers reveal the extent to which the Keating government was torn between concern for fiscal responsibility and a desire to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and pursue meaningful reconciliation.
Australians have gazed in wonder at the Milky Way since long before Captain Cook’s time.
Christian Reusch/Wikimedia Commons
What did Isaac Newton, Captain Cook and Eddie Mabo all have in common? Each, in their own way, looked to the heavens to make sense of the world, and the importance of their place in it.
Most people against recognising Aboriginal customary law think there’s only one law in Australia.
Few in Australia understand the context and true meaning of customary law. Denials of its validity are often based on ignorance or on specific examples devoid of context.
Has anything changed in the 30 years since the ALRC’s Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws report?
The Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws examined the interaction between two legal systems – one based in British law and the other in the customary laws of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
Country provides a site where Aboriginal and mainstream forms of law can come together and have dialogue – an outcome made possible by Eddie Mabo (L).
The ALRC report made some useful recommendations about how settler law could deal more fairly with Aboriginal people by taking their traditions and customs into account.
A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition.
Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland
Boneta-Marie Mabo's art responds to a colonial past in which Aboriginal women were fetishised as "black velvet". But it also celebrates strong women, including her activist grandmother Bonita Mabo.
Martha Koowarta, her late husband John and her Wik people have had to fight since the 1970s for their land rights in north Queensland to be properly recognised.
AAP Image/David Sproule
This week’s Federal Court ruling that the Wild Rivers declarations introduced by the former Queensland Labor Government were rushed and invalid was the long-awaited result many Cape York Indigenous groups…
Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait Island of Mer during the High Court challenge.
AAP/National Archives of Australia
Australians have just celebrated Mabo Day – this year marking the 20th anniversary of the landmark High Court decision that changed the course of land rights in Australia The case has special resonance…