Edward Koiki Mabo: His Life and Struggle for Land Rights

Edward Koiki Mabo
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His most significant cause, however, was that of indigenous land rights, his activism ultimately culminating in the now famous High Court ' Mabo ' decision in favour of customary law Mabo v Queensland [No. Eddie Mabo, one of the five plaintiffs in the case, will have his name indelibly associated with the 'High Court acknowledgement that native title existed on Murray Island and throughout Australia since time immemorial' p Yet, as unlikely as it may seem, Mabo's life experiences on the mainland were not particularly unique for a Torres Strait Islander of his generation.

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His sometimes contentious relationships with fellow Murray Islanders epitomise the social and political difficulties encountered today by many Torres Strait Islanders who have migrated away from their island homes to be resident on the mainland. Employment opportunities drew him, like these others, to the north Queensland mainland at an early age.

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Later, education and health care for his family encouraged his continued residence away from his home in Torres Strait. At the same time, other Islanders who remained residents of the small islands scattered across the archipelago separating Australia and Papua New Guinea contended with sub-standard housing, water and sanitation, health and education services, government regulations instituted to control their social life, and the lack of economic opportunities.

These differences in experience between mainland and home island residents have led to lasting tensions which are reflected in present day politics, and exacerbated by the demographic reality of Torres Strait Islander population figures: a majority reside on the mainland while barely 6, occupy the Torres Strait.

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Edward Koiki Mabo: His Life and Struggle for Land Rights [Noel Loos, Eddie Koiki Mabo] on lomatuqaragy.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Here, largely in. book Edward Koiki Mabo: his life and struggle for land rights · Loos, Noel A., Mabo, Eddie, St. Lucia, Qld. University of Queensland Press,

In fact, the Islands would have difficulty in sustaining a larger population. These present day realities, however, are not considered in the story of Koiki Mabo. Rather, the story of Eddie Mabo's life provides a poignant view of Torres Strait Islander identity in and around the vicinity of Townsville during the s to the s.

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A major dilemma for many Island parents on the mainland was, and continues to be, the need to instill a strong sense of Tones Strait Islander cultural identity in their children. A nationalistic Torres Strait Islander, Mabo, reflecting on raising children away from the islands, stated 'I need to strengthen my kids with their own heritage before they could [sic] accept the overall society's values' p Edward koiki mabo.

Eddie's role. With the association with the Torres Strait Islanders Advancement League his commitment allowed he to take up the position as Secretary for the Townsville division.

Mabo Decision: 25 Years Later

Hence working in a University Eddie watched many lectures and read a wide variety of books about his own people usually written by white anthropologists. The Professor had to explain to Eddie that belonged to the Government and that it did not belong to him.

He expressed to the audience the land rights, possessions and inheritance his people had in the Mer Islands. A lawyer who was in the crowd saw the importance of this under the Australian common law traditions. He proposed that their should be a court hearing about claiming land rights.

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During a decision was made by the Murray Islanders about challenging the High Court of Australia about the legal definition of 'Terra Nullius', which indeed would be lead by Eddie. Therefore it made the land rightfully theirs.

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