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Native Title: Mabo

Year 10 History

Britannica Online


capitalism,  also called free market economy, or free enterprise economy economic system, dominant in the Western world since the breakup of feudalism, in which most of the means of production are privately owned and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets.


This is a biography of Eddie Mabo, the leading plaintiff in the Mabo Case, his strength and determination made native title in Australia a reality.


Mabo's legacy resulted in the Native Title Act of Australia of 1993 - an important step forward for the country in land use, access and ownership.

The story of Eddie 'Koiki' Mabo, the Torres Strait Islander who left school at 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius. Cast: Deborah Mailman, Jimi Bani.


Summary: The High Court's Mabo Decision in late 1992 was probably the most significant legal decision ever made by an Australian court. Sadly though, it led to widespread scaremongering by sections of the community and the so-called 'Mabo Myths' put Aboriginal spokespeople firmly on the back foot. Lateline carefully examines the myths related to the security of various types of land title in Australia and, as one observer said, 'admirably clarifies the decision and its meaning for all Australians'.

You Tube

Eddie Mabo's epic struggle in the High Court for the recognition of native title marked a milestone for the Indigenous movement in Australia.


ABC News

Edward Koiki Mabo was born on Mer (Murray) Island in 1936, and was adopted by his uncle, Benny Mabo shortly following his mother's death. Eddie was exiled from the Island when he was 16, and worked across northern Queensland and the Torres Strait before settling in Townsville with his young family in 1962.

On 3 June 2012, Australians will commemorate Mabo Day, marking the twentieth anniversary of the historic Mabo decision.

Eddie Mabo of Mer island in the Torres Strait spent a decade seeking official recognition of his people’s ownership of Mer and on 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia agreed, rejecting the doctrine that Australia was terra nullius (land belonging to no-one) at the time of European settlement.