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Papers of Edward Koiki Mabo, 1943-1992 (bulk 1972-1992) [microform]
Bib ID 2464251
Format MicroformMicroform, ManuscriptManuscript
Mabo, Edward, 1936-1992
Access Conditions Part available for research; part NOT available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1943-1992] 
11 microfilm reels ; 35 mm. 

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. 16. Printed material, 1978-1989.


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.


See file NLA19/1555

Microfilm copy of original documents held in the National Library of Australia Manuscript collection at MS 8822.

Series 1-2: G 27539. Series 3: G 27540. Series 4: G 27541. Series 4-5: G 27542. Series 5-7: G27543. Series 7-8: G 27544. Series 8-12: G27545. Series 13: G 27546. Series 13-15: G27547. Series 16-17: G 27548. Series 17: G27549.

Reproduction Microfilm. Balgowlah, N.S.W. : W. & F. Pascoe for the National Library of Australia and the James Cook University of North Queensland : Available from the National Library of Australia, 1996. 11 microfilm reels ; 35 mm. 
Subjects Mabo, Edward, 1936-1992 -- Archives.  |  Australia. High Court. Mabo and others v. State of Queensland.  |  Australia. Native Title Act 1993.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Archives.  |  Torres Strait Islanders -- Archives.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Land tenure.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Legal status, laws, etc.  |  Torres Strait Islanders -- Queensland -- Land tenure.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Queensland.  |  Native title (Australia)  |  Land tenure -- Australia.  |  Australia -- Race relations.
Time Coverage 1943-1992 
Other authors/contributors Australia. High Court
Terms of Use Copying of Edward Koiki Mabo's copyright material NOT permitted for research purposes. 


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    Details Collect From
    Mfm G 27539-27549 Main Reading Room - Newspapers and Family History -
    PRU Mfm G 27539-27549 (copying master : Manuscripts) Item not for use -
    PRU Mfm G 27539-27549 (first generation master : coldstore) Item not for use -

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    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.