The Mabo Decision

Topics: Australia, Indigenous Australians / Pages: 3 (577 words) / Published: Sep 8th, 2013
The Mabo Decision of 1992 was an historical triumph for the Indigenous Australian people as many protesters fought for equal rights and freedom. They were fighting for their land rights and they wanted to be recognised as people of Australia. This particular event was a huge turning point in Australian history as it was the first time and Indigenous Australian had challenged a decision and had taken the case to court and won. The Mabo Decision was a first and it inspired many people to stand up for their rights. This essay will illustrates the impact the Mabo decision had on Australian history, and the implications on the people of Australia. Before the Mabo Decision, Indigenous Australians never had a victory in court as the judges always favoured the 'White' Australians opinion and was always biased with the rulings. The background on the Mabo Decision was the fact that Eddie Mabo and other Torres Strait Islanders decided to fight for their ancestral land and their rights. On 3 June 1992, the High Court by a majority of six to one upheld the claim and ruled that the lands of this continent were not terra nullius or land belonging to no-one when European settlement occurred, and that the Meriam people were 'entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment most of the lands of the Murray Islands.’ Eddie Mabo argued the fact that under the 'native title' and the complex customary ownership of the land which predated colonisation it was rightfully theirs.

The main contributors who fought for the issue are Eddie (Koiko) Mabo , Sam Passi, David Passi, Celuia Mapo Salee and James Rice. Mabo was the one who initiated the land rights argument when he found out that his birth place, Mer Island, was not legally his or his families. This news angered and upset Mabo and he began speaking out and telling people his story. He received a great amount of support, especially from fellow Indigenous people, and in the early 1980s a lawyer

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