Mabo Day at Yalari
Today at Yalari we celebrate Mabo day. June the 3rd is Mabo Day and commemorates the courageous efforts of Eddie Koiki Mabo to overturn the fiction of terra nullius (land belonging to no-one), the legal concept that Australia and the Torres Strait Islands were not owned by Indigenous peoples because they did not ‘use’ the land in ways Europeans believed constituted some kind of legal possession.
Koiki Mabo and his legal team fought hard to demonstrate that he and his people had traditional land ownership systems on Mer. The case went to the High Court. Unfortunately Eddie Mabo died 5 months before the historic decision came on 3 June 1992 that ‘native title’ did exist and it was up to the people of Mer to determine who owned the land.
To celebrate Mabo Day and the end of Reconciliation Week we held a staff lunch with a Torres Strait Islander style meal cooked by our very own staff member Michael. Most of the Yalari staff are back in the office this week.
Happy Mabo Day!
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Yalari respects our Elders, past and present, and acknowledges that our office is on Kombumerri country within the lands of the Yugambeh language group