Friday, June 8, 2012

Mabo Day in Townsville

On Sunday June 3rd, a celebration was held at the  Eddie Koiki Mabo Library in Townsville to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic "Mabo Decision".

Albert Smallwood conducts the traditional smoking ceremony.
The afternoon began with addresses from Professor Sandra Harding and Professor Stanley Nangala, followed by entertainment from a traditional family dance group led by JCU student Frank Willis, who presented a series of dances from their region.  A highlight of the afternoon was a special appearance by students of Shalom College who thrilled the crowd with their contemporary take on traditional aboriginal dance.  A traditional smoking ceremony was followed by the dedication of the Eddie Koiki Mabo plinth in its new location outside the southern entrance of the Library.

Detail from a print by Gail Mabo 
Gail Mabo presented her new art exhibition, 17, in the foyer of the Library.  Gail spoke about how this exhibition reflects her role as a member of the 17th generation of the Mabo family, and features screen prints of traditional Torres Strait fishing baskets and sardines that are readily caught off the beach at Murray Island.

The afternoon concluded with The Making of Mabo, a panel discussion about the making of the Mabo movie.  The panel featured Darren Dale, Gail Mabo, Jimi Bani, Noel Loos and Charles Passi.  This was a fascinating look into how and where the film was made, and it was wonderful to see the locations around the Douglas campus featured so prominently in this film.  The audience was treated to several clips from the film, and some behind the scenes information from the panel.  The film premieres on the ABC on Sunday June 10th.   Don't miss it!

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