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Mabo Day

June 3, 2017

June the 3rd is Mabo Day and commemorates the courageous efforts of Eddie Koiki Mabo to overturn the fiction of terra nullius (land belonging to no-one), the legal concept that Australia and the Torres Strait Islands were not owned by Indigenous peoples because they did not ‘use’ the land in ways Europeans believed constituted some kind of legal possession. This idea was used to give ‘legitimacy’ for the British and later colonial and Australia governments to allow the dispossession of all Indigenous peoples of their land and access to it. Whether an Aboriginal group lost its land to colonial settlement/invasion in 1788, 1880 or 1970, the argument was that they never owned it, never had internationally recognisable legal entitlement to it and therefore could be considered trespassers on Crown land and would not be able to claim any compensation for its loss.

Details

Date:
June 3, 2017
Website:
http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/news/2013/mabo-day/