The papers in MS 8822 have been arranged into the following series: 1. Diaries, 1976, 1985-1992. 2. Employment and personal, 1943, 1959-1992. 3. Business ventures, 1968-1991. 4. Black Community School, Townsville, 1973-1984. 5. Yumba Meta Housing Association, 1973-1982. 6. National Aboriginal Education Committee, 1980-1987. 7. Diploma of Teaching Course, Townsville College of Advanced Education/James Cook University, 1981-1984. 8. Land claim, 1982-1992. 9. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1978-1989. 10. ABIS Community Co-operative Society Limited, 1985-1987. 11. Murray Island Community Council, 1985-1991. 12. Moomba Festival, 1986-1987. 13. 5th Festival of Pacific Arts, Townsville, 1986-1988. 14. Magani Malu Kes/Torres Strait independence movement, 1980-1991. 15. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, 1989-1990. 16. Other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander related activities, 1981-1991. 17. Aboriginal legal aid services, 1974-1987. 18. Printed material, 1978-1989 (28 boxes, 2 fol. boxes, 1 folio).
Edward Koiki Mabo was a Torres Strait Islander human rights and land rights activist. He worked as director of the Townsville Black Community School, 1973-1983. Mabo dedicated his life to overturning the decision of Lieutenant James Cook to take possession of the east coast of Australia in the name of King George III. Originally working on railways and sugar plantations, Mabo gained an education and became an activist for black rights after he realised that his ancestral land, despite his traditional ties, belonged to the Crown.
Rejecting the direct action of the land rights movement, Mabo targeted the legal justification for the land appropriation. In 1982, he and four other Murray, or Mer, Islanders began court action to gain legal title to their family land. Principal plaintiff in the landmark High Court native title case, "Mabo and Others versus State of Queensland and the Commonwealth, 1982-92". It is Mabo's name that has been given to the subsequent decision of the High Court of Australia on 3 June 1992, five months after he died, that reversed the principle of Terra Nullius and resulted in the recognition of native title.
||Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 3 December 2012 - 3 May 2013. Selected items exhibited in: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 12 June 2012 - 23 September 2012. Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 7 October 2011 - 15 December 2012.