Marking the twentieth anniversary of the historic High Court decision, MABO is the story of one of Australia's national heroes: Eddie 'Koiki' Mabo - the Torres Strait Islander who, despite leaving school at 15, spearheaded the High Court challenge that on.
Mabo: an address to the nation
Mabo: an address to the nation is Prime Minister Paul Keating's endorsement of the Mabo decision. His message is that wrongs of the past must be righted.
First Australians / SBS TV / Clips from Screen Australia website
Episode 7, We are no longer shadows 2008
The seventh and final episode of First Australians covers the period 1967–93, focusing on the Torres Strait Islands and Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo’s fight for land rights. This period was, globally, a time of increased civil rights advocacy and political activism, but also of a high level of racism and oppression of Aboriginal people, especially in Queensland.
Clip 1: 'We'd have to start to get political'. The rousing introduction to this episode is a stark reminder of the inequality experienced by black people all over the world. Mabo’s recollection of his treatment by white hotel owners and the hard life that he and his family led because of this inequality is very touching and a revealing insight into his life in the lead-up to his famous battle for land rights.
Clip 2: Discriminatory legislation. Narrator Rachel Perkins and Father Frank Brennan explain legislation brought in by the Queensland government to quash Mabo’s land claim. Barrister Bryan Keon-Cohen QC and historian Professor Marcia Langton of the Yiman-Bidjara Nation describe consequences of the legislation and its eventual dismissal by the High Court of Australia. We see the bicentenary protests on Australia Day 1988, and then Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s reaction to his inability to secure a treaty.
Clip 3: 'Campaign of Fear'. Father Frank Brennan, Eddie’s daughter Gail Mabo of the Meriam and Manbarra Nations and Donald Whaleboat of the Meriam Nation, talk about Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo and the outcomes of the trial. Narrator Rachel Perkins and historian Professor Marcia Langton of the Yiman-Bidjara Nation, accompanied by archival footage, describe the negative public reaction to the High Court decision.