SURRENDER is committed to Biblical reconciliation with the first peoples of Australia and today we round out 2014 National Reconciliation Week with one of most significant dates in the move towards reconciliation.
On the 3 June 1992 The High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title.
The Mabo decision was named after Eddie Mabo, the man who challenged the Australian legal system and fought for recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of their land.
In 1981, Eddie Mabo made a speech at James Cook University in Queensland, where he explained his people’s beliefs about the ownership and inheritance of land on Mer. A lawyer heard the speech and asked Eddie if he would like to challenge the Australian Government in the court system, to decide who the true owner of land on Mer was—his people or the Australian Government. And this is exactly what Eddie Mabo did.
Learn more about the Mabo Decision with this fact sheet from Reconciliation Australia.