Hi, I'm Eddie

About the podcast

2022 marks 30 years since Torres Strait Islander, Eddie Koiki Mabo, and a group of four Meriam people won in a case against the State of Queensland, for land they knew was traditionally theirs.  The fight for Mer, in the Eastern Island group of the Torres Strait, would take a decade and end up dispelling any notion that Australia was ‘terra nullius’ before British colonisation.

Hi, I’m Eddie is a six-part series commissioned by the State Library of Queensland which introduces you to the man behind the headlines.  Host Rhianna Patrick brings you on a journey to get to know Eddie Mabo and the case to understand the legacy he left behind.

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Episodes

Hi, I'm Eddie Trailer

Join Rhianna Patrick on a journey through the life and legacy of Eddie Koiki Mabo, the man that took on the Queensland government and won, through the stories of those close to him and the landmark Native Title case Mabo and Others v Queensland (No 2) (1992).
 

 

 

Pearls Dropped in the Ocean

Taking on governments is what the Torres Strait has been doing since the maritime strike in the 1930s. Most would be unaware of this history or have little idea about where this region is geographically. No fight has been more significant than the case that was decided in 1992. But what makes a man from a remote Island take on the State of Queensland?

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Gail Mabo - Daughter of Eddie and Bonita Mabo
Charles Passi - Son of co-plaintiff, Rev. David Passi
Noel Zaro OAM – Former student of Eddie Mabo at Townsville Black Community School
Greg McIntyre SC – Former solicitor for Eddie Mabo’s legal team for the 1992 case
 

 

 

Eddie Koiki Mabo: Small in Stature, Big in Voice

His last name was all over the newspapers and on the lips of radio presenters but what do you really know about Eddie Mabo before he was catapulted into the spotlight? How did this Torres Strait Island man come to find his voice?

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Gail Mabo - Daughter of Eddie and Bonita Mabo
 

 

 

A Better Education 

Denied a proper education, Eddie Koiki Mabo becomes a lifelong learner and teaches himself English by reading the dictionary. He wants his children to have a well-rounded education which includes Meriam culture. He can see the only way that’s going to happen is if he starts his own school.

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Gail Mabo - Daughter of Eddie and Bonita Mabo
Noel Zaro OAM - Former student of Eddie Mabo at Townsville Black Community School
Kevin Smith - Solicitor and CEO of Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS)
 

 

 

The Fight of a Lifetime  

If you don’t like how the game is being played, you change the game yeah?! The Queensland Government fights back with a challenge which could stop the High Court challenge in its tracks. But Eddie Mabo’s legal team are ready for the complications ahead.

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Kevin Smith - Solicitor and CEO of Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS)
Karen Paterson (nee Dorante) - Former ABC Radio broadcaster

 

 

 

Trial by Media   

If you have never been the focus of media attention, you’ll never really know what it feels like. It can be intense. As the media and government grapple with the fall out of the case, the toll on Eddie Koiki Mabo reaches a conclusion no one saw coming.

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Karen Paterson (nee Dorante) - Former ABC Radio broadcaster
Noel Zaro OAM - Former student of Eddie Mabo at Townsville Black Community School
Gail Mabo – Daughter of Eddie and Bonita Mabo
Kevin Smith - Solicitor and CEO of Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS)

 

 

 

Unfinished Business    

It was more than just about land but about the future vision that one man had for his Island, culture, and community. But what does legacy mean 30 years after the historic case and what’s the unfinished business that’s been lingering?

Hosted by Rhianna Patrick and featuring:

Gail Mabo – Daughter of Eddie and Bonita Mabo
Noel Zaro OAM – Former student of Eddie Mabo at Townsville Black Community School
Charles Passi – Son of co-plaintiff Rev. David Passi
Kevin Smith - Solicitor and CEO of Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS)
Karen Paterson (nee Dorante) - Former ABC Radio broadcaster
Greg McIntyre SC - Former solicitor for Eddie Mabo’s legal team for the 1992 case
 

Further reading

Library Shop

Legacy Reflections on Mabo

Legacy: Reflections on Mabo
Mabo

Somebodys Land Welcome to Our Country

Somebody's Land: Welcome to Our Country
Adam Goodes

Pet Bandana Teddy Gibson

Pet Bandana Teddy Gibson
Alperstein Designs

The Coloured Echidna

The Coloured Echidna
Eunice Day

From the blog

30th anniversary of the historic Mabo decision

5 May 2022
The 3 June 2022 marks the 30th Anniversary of the historic Mabo decision, a 1992 legal case that marked the first formal recognition of Indigenous land rights in Australia. Mabo and others v Queensland (No 2) (1992) – more commonly known as 'Mabo', acknowledged  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique connection with the land, as the High Court of Australia overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius (‘land belonging to nothing, no one’) which implied that no-one held ownership of the land until the arrival of European settlers.

Mabo vs State of Queensland

1 June 2018
2018 marked the 26th anniversary since the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in the land rights case ‘Mabo versus the State of Queensland’. Announced on 3 June 1992, generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people celebrate Mabo Day following a 10-year struggle for recognition. Justice Martin Moynihan and a team of Counsel travelled to Mer Island to conduct Supreme Court sittings and to take down testimony from witnesses to prove or disprove the Murray Islander Mabo case of native title in May 1989. This blog showcases images taken of these events that took place. Anne Scheu - Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland

Towards Reconciliation: The 1967 Referendum and Mabo

28 May 2019
National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June) is a celebration and opportunity for Indigenous Australians and the wider Australian community to come together to share stories, history and culture, and explore how we can become unified as a nation. The theme for 2019 is “Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage”. QCAATI float in the 1967 Brisbane May Day procession, 1 May 1967.Creator: Daisy Elizabeth Marchisotti. Courtesy of Fryer Library, University of Queensland.Imagine being an Australian and being able to vote in one state and not in another. Imagine being able to marry freely and raise your own children in one jurisdiction but not in another.In the second half of the 20th century, a changing mood in Australia influenced the thinking of legislators. In 1967 a significant referendum was held. The question asked in the referendum of 1967 was whether two references in the Constitution, which discriminated against Aboriginal people, should be removed.The sections of the Constitution under scrutiny were:51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:-...(xxvi) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.127. In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.This referendum saw the highest YES vote ever recorded in a Federal referendum, with 90.77% voting for change.  As a result, in 1967 the Constitution of Australia was changed, giving formal effect to the referendum result. Children on the Builders Labourers’ Federation float, May Day procession, Brisbane, 1967.Creator: Grahame Garner.Courtesy of Fryer Library, University of Queensland.Related to this change was the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had been given the vote under Commonwealth law in 1962.  In 1965, Queensland was the last State in Australia to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the electoral roll.Together with the Eddie Koiki Mabo Decision of 3 June 1992, these factors contributed to a move towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community. The Mabo Decision overturned the fiction of ‘terra nullius’ and empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to seek native title and ownership of their lands.The courage shown by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in talking about and sharing their cultural stories and history has led to a greater understanding and respect among the diverse groups in 21st century Australian society.State Library of Queensland holds extensive resources, both online and in hard copy, that document the walk towards both reconciliation and the recognition of native title.  In National Reconciliation Week, State Library celebrates the journey towards reconciliation and acknowledges the traditional owners of the land upon which State Library is located.Some examples of State Library resources are: Reflections : 40 years on from the 1967 referendum Neil Gillespie. Available: State Library South Bank Collection. Request then collect from level 4 (J 323.11 REF). The 1967 referendum : race, power and the Australian Constitution / Bain Attwood and Andrew Markus. Available: State Library South Bank Collection. Open Access, level 2 (323.119915 2007). Reconciliation, take the next step : National Day of Healing and Reconciliation Week 26th May-3rd June 2005. Available: State Library South Bank Collection. Request then collect from level 4 (P 362.849915 REC). Mabo : an address to the nation / P.J. Keating. Available: State Library South Bank Collection. Request then collect from level 4 (VF 346.940432 KEA).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 proceedings ... in 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. 29122 Album of Photographs relating to the Mabo Case on Mer Island 1989. Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this album contains images and names of people who have since passed away.There are many informative websites available, and some examples are:Websites State Library Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections: https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/research-collections/aboriginal-and-torres-s… National Reconciliation Week: https://www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/ Reconciliation Resources Australia: https://www.reconciliation.org.au/resources/ AIATSIS Reconciliation: http://lryb.aiatsis.gov.au/reconciliation.html Australians Together. Educational Resource for Teachers and Students: https://australianstogether.org.au/nrw/ National Archives of Australia Fact Sheet 1967 Referendum: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs150.aspx AIATSIS Mabo: https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/mabo-case National Archives of Australia Fact Sheet on the Mabo case: http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/a-z/mabo.aspx National Museum of Australia Mabo decision: https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/mabo-decision National Library of Australia Mabo collection: https://www.nla.gov.au/selected-library-collections/mabo-collection Eddie Mabo, from Land Bilong Islanders. Courtesy of Trevor Graham-Yarra Bank Films: http://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/mabo-case State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpage: www.slq.qld.gov.au/resources/atsi/languages State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Blog: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ilq/ State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Participation in WW1 Webpage: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/resources/world-war-1/indigenous-participatio… Ealing-Godbold, Research Librarian, Visitor & Information ServicesJennie Nicholl, Library Technician, Visitor & Information Services

Legacy: Reflections on Mabo

Free exhibition
28 May 2022 – 9 October 2022