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John Oxley Library

Mabo v State of Queensland

By JOL Admin | 22 August 2016

Queenslanders grew up hearing the name Eddie Mabo. Many of us recall the land rights case which took 10 years to resolve and included a trial heard by Justice Martin Moynihan in the Supreme Court of Queensland, 27 February 1986. The High Court ruling was handed down in 1992.

Mabo Day is celebrated each year in June. 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the High Court of Australia's ruling  recognising traditional ownership of the land in the Torres Strait.

Eddie Mabo, from Land Bilong Islanders. Courtesy of Trevor Graham-Yarra Bank Films.

Did you know the John Oxley Library has documents pertaining to this case? They include:-

6837 Justice Moynihan - Determination re Mabo Case Papers.

Three bound volumes regarding the determination of a reference from the High Court of Australia of the factual issues raised in the action by Eddie Mabo and others - prepared by Justice Moynihan. (No. B12 of 1982 in the High Court of Australia). Volume 1 (227pp), Volume 2 (58pp). Volume 3 (146pp). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Australia.

Transcript of the High Court of Australia between Eddie Mabo, David Passi, James Rice...and the State of Queensland Proceedings for 28-31 May 1991, 3 June 1992, and 8 December 1992.

OM95-26 Mabo Cutting Books 1990-1994 - (2 vols.) 23 Nov 1990 - 21 Oct 1994


Library at the University College of Townsville, Queensland. The library was designed by James Birrell and constructed in 1968. It was later renamed the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library in 2008. The University is now known as the James Cook University. (Description supplied with photograph). Collection 6523 Royal Australian Institute of Architects photographs and plan, 1968-1975. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

More information

Interested in this historic legal case? Don't miss State Library's award winning podcast Hi I'm Eddie.

The Selden Society hosted a lecture on the subject of Mabo v the State of Queensland as part of the 2016 lecture series. Leading Cases of the Common Law — Mabo v State of Queensland (No 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1 presented by The Hon Margaret White AO.

Selden Society website. 

Other Blogs

Anne Scheu

Collections Engagement | Queensland Memory



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