Thursday the 3rd of June 2010 marks "Mabo Day." This day celebrates the achievements of Indigenous land rights activist Eddie Koiki Mabo, after whom the JCU Townsville campus Library takes its name.
Eddie Mabo's story began in May 1982 when he and fellow Murray Islanders, David Passi, Sam Passi, James Rice and Celuia Salee instituted a claim in the High Court for native title to the Murray Islands within Torres Strait. The High Court, in an historic judgment delivered on June 3, 1992, accepted the claim from Eddie Mabo and the other claimants that their people had occupied the island of Mer for hundreds of years before the arrival of the British. The Court found that the Meriam people were “entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the lands in the Murray Islands.”
Read more at: Torres Strait Regional Authority
In recognition of the association between JCU and Eddie Mabo, the Mabo Library has on display a collection of its materials about Eddie Mabo, Indigenous Australians and land rights issues in Australia. Please come and enjoy the display, and feel free to borrow the items on display and many others to be found in the library collection.
“The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library will forever commemorate the link between the man who changed the land laws of Australia and James Cook University.” Professor Sandra Harding, 21 May 2008, on the naming of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library.