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Eddie Mabo

Here is my first Prezi!

Jordan Schneider

on 16 July 2012

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Transcript of Eddie Mabo

Eddie Koiki Mabo Was born on 29-6-1936 and died on 21-6-1992 Born "Eddie Koiki Sambo", he was a Torres Strait Islander and was born on Mer Island or also known as Murray Island Because Eddie's Mother died soon after birth After birth, he was given to his uncle Benny Mabo and his wife. Why? Eddie was taught about his families land from a young age "... It was handed down from generation to generation, they knew by the boundary lines and markers. There was a certain tree, or stones, heaps of rocks, different trees. They knew exactly where the place was." But life was strictly regulated by the Queensland government and when 17, a prank landed him in trouble with the council and he was exiled. He worked on pearling boats during his exile, but when his exile was extended, oved to Townsville and got a job on the railways He This was later said to be a "... he became spokesperson for the Torres Strait Islander gang, and as a result of that he interacted with white Australian trade union officials." In 1959, when 23, he married Bonita Neehow and they would eventually raise 10 children. Eddie had multiple jobs, but was a gardener at age 31 at James Cook Univesity in Townsville. "...he joined in the university life. He would sit in on seminars. he would go to the library and read books and especially would read what white anthropologists and the so-called white experts had to say about his people." Eddie, Professor Noel Loos and Henry Reynold had a talk in 1974 which is described as a turning point in history. Professor Noel Loos words "...we were having lunch one day in Reynold's office when Koiki was just speaking about his land back on Mer, or Murray Island. Henry and I realised that in his mind he thought he owned that land, so we sort of glanced at each other, and then had the difficult responsibility of telling him that he didn't own that land, and that it was Crown land. Koiki was surprised, shocked and even..." "...he came home and said, and I remember him saying 'No way, it's not theirs, it's ours.'" A Land Right's Conference was held in 1981 at James Cook University "Eddie made a very important speech where he spelt out clearly land ownership and land inheritance in Murray Island." A test case was suggested by a lawyer at the conference to claim land rights through the court system. Early Life CRITICAL part in his life. The Murray or Mer Islanders heard of this and decided they would be the ones to challenge the claim of terra nullius (no mans land) through the High Court. Eddie Mabo was chosen as leader. The Start Henry Reynolds and Professor Noel Loos had a discussion with Eddie in 1974. "...it was a ten year battle and it was a remarkable saga really. After listening to the argument and after investigating it Justice Moynihan came to the conclusion that Koiki Mabo wasn't the son of Benny Mabo and declared that he had no rights to inherit Mabo land." Eddie felt like giving up for the first time in his life, devastated. BUT Threw himself back into the court case, thinking he was right. Eddie's form of relaxation was to paint watercolours of the island home he so desperately loved and fighted for, or he worked on his boat. Ten years later though, the strain affected his health. Final Days "He was determined to fight it all the way. Even on his deathbed he knew that he was going to win." At the age of 56, Eddie died in January 1992, the cause of death: Cancer The Decision But who was he? Five months after Eddie's death, the court announced their historic decision. "The High Court has announced its historic decision..." "...so Justice Moynihan's decision that Mabo wasn't the rightful heir was irrelevant because the decision that came out was that native title existed and it was up to the Aboriginal or Islander people to determine who owned what land." That same night, his grave sight was vandalised. Eddie was then buried on Mer or Murray Island, the land he loved and fought so hard for. Burial The night he was reburied, the Islanders performed a traditional ceremony, not seen on the island for 80 years. This meant Eddie Mabo had been buried as a... King. "He has proved himself really as one of the great battlers of Australian society and one of the people who has changed Australia's history." Eddie Mabo
29-6-1936 to 21-1-1992
Voted 1992 Australian of the Year. Bibliograpy http://www.abc.net.au/schoolstv/australians/emabo.htm
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