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Nation came of age on Mabo Day.

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Nation came of age on Mabo Day


Statement by TSIAB Chairperson Elia Doolah

The forthcoming 10th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision is an occasion to celebrate the maturing of a nation.

Monday 3 June marks an event of profound importance to Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people for its recognition of our cultures by the highest authority in the land.

It was also profoundly important for non-Indigenous Australians because it has opened the door to a mingling of our cultural values in the national law of the land. It provided a platform for mutual respect and understanding and the potential for accelerating reconciliation.

The members of ATSIC’s Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board (TSIAB) encourage all people to share in the celebrations planned throughout Australia to mark Mabo Day on Monday 3 June.

Torres Strait Islander communities have planned events both on the mainland and in the Torres Strait. The Torres Shire Council has declared the date a public holiday and communities on Mer (Murray) Island in particular will mark Monday’s anniversary with celebrations involving the island’s entire population.

TSIAB would like to express its appreciation to all those organisations and individuals associated with organising celebrations for this special day.

TSIAB extends its regards and best wishes to the family of the late Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo and to his wife, Bonita, during this time.

Elia Doolah TSIAB Chairperson ATSIC Commissioner for the Torres Strait

Further information:

Martin Freckmann, ATSIC 02 6121 4962

NB: Mabo anniversary celebrations begin in the ACT today at 1.00pm with a reception hosted by the local Torres Strait Islander community with guests of honour Mrs Bonita Mabo and Chief Minister John Stanhope.

Mrs Mabo will also be guest of honour at an anniversary celebration in Melbourne on Monday 3 June hosted

by the local Torres Strait Islander community and the Melbourne City Council.


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