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Mabo Day

Honor the legacy of Eddie Mabo and celebrate Indigenous rights on Mabo Day with cultural events, educational programs, and community gatherings.
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When it is?
June 3
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Get ready to celebrate Mabo Day on June 3, a special day that commemorates an important milestone in Australia's history. This day marks the anniversary of the historic High Court decision in 1992 that recognized the rights of Indigenous Australians to their land and paved the way for native title laws. It is named after Eddie Koiki Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander who fought for recognition and justice for his people. Today, Mabo Day is celebrated as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights and a celebration of diversity and cultural heritage in Australia. Let's take this opportunity to learn more about Indigenous cultures and show our support for reconciliation efforts.

History of Mabo Day

Mabo Day Dates

Mabo Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1936</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Birth of Eddie Mabo</div><div class='timeline-text'>Edward Koiki Mabo was born on June 29 on Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1981</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Legal Fight Begins</div><div class='timeline-text'>Mabo, along with fellow plaintiffs, challenged the Australian legal system over Indigenous land rights.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1982</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Mabo v Queensland</div><div class='timeline-text'>Mabo and four other Meriam people started a legal case, Mabo v Queensland, to claim the land of Mer.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1991</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Death of Eddie Mabo</div><div class='timeline-text'>Eddie Mabo passed away on January 21, 1991, before the High Court could deliver its landmark judgment.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1992</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Landmark High Court Decision</div><div class='timeline-text'>On June 3, the High Court of Australia overturned the doctrine of terra nullius and recognized Indigenous land rights for the first time.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1995</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Mabo Day Celebration</div><div class='timeline-text'>The inaugural Mabo Day was celebrated on June 3, marking the anniversary of the landmark High Court decision and honouring Eddie Mabo's contribution to Indigenous rights.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Mabo Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a traditional feast</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite friends and family over for a traditional Mabo Day feast, featuring dishes from the Torres Strait Islands such as fish, turtle, and damper bread.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a cultural festival</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many cities hold cultural festivals to celebrate Mabo Day, featuring traditional music, dance, and food. Attend one to learn more about the history and culture of the Torres Strait Islands.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a museum or art exhibit</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Spend the day at a museum or art exhibit that features indigenous artwork and artifacts from the Torres Strait Islands. This is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Mabo Day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a documentary or film about Eddie Mabo</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Eddie Mabo's story is an important part of Torres Strait Islander history. Watch a documentary or film about his life and achievements to honor his legacy on Mabo Day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Participate in community service</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Give back to the community by volunteering at a local organization that supports indigenous rights and culture. This is a great way to honor the values and principles that Eddie Mabo fought for.</p></div></div>

Why Mabo Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It celebrates a significant moment in history</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Mabo Day commemorates the historic ruling in 1992 that recognized the traditional land rights of Indigenous Australians. This decision was a major milestone for Indigenous land rights and has had a lasting impact on Australian society.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises awareness about Indigenous issues</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Mabo Day not only celebrates the legal victory, but it also serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights in Australia. It brings attention to issues such as land ownership, sovereignty, and cultural preservation.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It promotes reconciliation and unity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By celebrating Mabo Day, Australians are encouraged to acknowledge and understand the significance of Indigenous culture and history. It serves as a day to come together and promote unity among different cultures within the country.</p></div></div>

5 Eye-opening Facts for Mabo Day Celebration

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Eddie Mabo was Self-Educated in Indigenous Rights</h3><p class='facts-content'>Due to the lack of formal legal education, Eddie Mabo educated himself about indigenous rights and land ownership, which ultimately led to his landmark case.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Mabo's Wife, Bonita Mabo, Also Actively Advocated for Indigenous Rights</h3><p class='facts-content'>Bonita Mabo also dedicated her life to various indigenous and social justice causes, earning multiple accolades for her tireless advocacy work.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Mabo Also Advocated for Indigenous Education</h3><p class='facts-content'>In addition to land rights, Mabo was a passionate advocate for the establishment of schools where indigenous children could learn about their own cultural heritage.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Eddie Mabo was Posthumously awarded the 'Human Rights Medal'</h3><p class='facts-content'>In 1992, shortly after his passing, the Australian Human Rights Commission awarded Eddie Mabo with the 'Human Rights Medal' for his significant contributions to the indigenous rights movement.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>"Mabo Library" Perpetuates His Legacy</h3><p class='facts-content'>The main library of James Cook University, where Eddie Mabo once worked as a gardener, is named "Mabo Library," honouring his lasting influence on indigenous rights in Australia.</p></div></div>

Mabo Day FAQs

When is Mabo Day?

Mabo Day is celebrated on June 3 every year. In 2024 Mabo Day will occur on a Monday.

Mabo Day Dates



Jun 3



Jun 3



Jun 3



Jun 3



Jun 3


Federal Holidays