On 3 June 1992, a landmark decision for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people came to pass. Today, this date is celebrated as ‘Mabo Day’.
Mabo Day represents the significance of the Queensland Supreme Court’s ruling to recognise Britain’s original claim that Australia was ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) was a false declaration and that native title existed. This decision only came to pass thanks to the efforts of Eddie Koiki Mabo and the people around him, who fought for their right to own the land that had always been theirs.
Unfortunately, Eddie Mabo himself passed away five months before this decision was made. Mabo Day therefore represents not just the ruling and its significance, but also Mabo and his fight for what was right.
Given the historical significance of this date to Australian history, LTP provides the Year 6 lesson Eddie Mabo and the Native Title Act (History Unit 4 Lesson 5) which explores Eddie Mabo, the Mabo Decision and the meaning of ‘native title’. Consider sharing the lesson with your class this June to mark the significance of the special day.