Eddie Mabo

Baby’s Eddie Mabo project

Eddie Mabo

Good morning 4E. Today I will be talking about Eddie Mabo’s heroic acts on saving the aboriginals’ original rights to their lands.

Eddie Mabo was born as Eddie Koiki Sambo but changed his name later in life. He was born in Murray island on the 29th June 1936. the son of Robert Zezou Sambo and Annie Mabo of the Piadaram clan. His mother died in childbirth and as a result his Uncle Benny Mabo and Aunt Maiga adopted him under customary law.

He lived in Townsville and was working in the railways. This was an important turning point in Eddie’s life.Through his work in the railroads he met many other Torres Straight islanders like him. He became spokesperson for the railroad workers and often voiced their opinions to the trade union officials.

In 1959, he opened the first black school in Townsville.

I believe that, Eddie Mabo is one of the hidden heroes of Australian history. He is famous for his role in campaigning for indigenous land rights. Prior to Eddie Mabo challenging the rule, The British and the Australian law was that Australia was ‘no man’s land’, meaning the Aboriginal people who has lived in Australia for ever and was here before the British arrived had no rights to their land.
The High Court of Australia ruled that under Australian law, Indigenous people have rights to land – rights that existed before colonisation and which still exist. This right is called native title.
On 21 January 1992, Mabo died of cancer at the age of 56.

The Australian newspaper elected Edward Mabo as Australian of the Year on the 26th of January in 1993.

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