Mabo Day Celebrations 2020 are going virtual!

From SEQ Mabo Day Working Group
2 June 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South East Queensland Mabo Day Celebrations are going virtual. The South East Queensland Mabo Day Working Group have connected with National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Queensland (RQ), Arts Front, Queensland Performing Arts (QPAC), Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group Inc, Inala Wangarra, Digi Youth Arts and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to bring MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020 online.

Join us at 8:30am on Wednesday, 3 June 2020, for the #MaboDay virtual events commencing with Welcome to Country by Gaja Kerry Charlton, a Goo’enpul-Yuggera and Ngunda- Gabi Gabi Goori teacher, facilitator and researcher of family and community history. At 8:45am, Patty Mills - three-time Olympian, NBA Champion, and the only Indigenous Australian to have won an NBA Championship - will give Acknowledgement of Country.

From 9:00am, stream the 2019 Mabo Oration with Luke Pearson (Indigenous X) at QPAC.

At 12:00pm, join the MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS 2020 Facebook page for The Mabo Day Webinar hosted by Rhianna Patrick, a Torres Strait Islander woman with 20+ years as a media professional. Rhianna has worked across Indigenous media, communications, radio, television documentaries and news and currently presents a national ABC Radio programme. Speakers include:

  • Charles Passi, a visionary Elder from Mer (Murray) Island, Torres Strait, and son of David Passi, one of the plaintiffs in the Mabo case
  • Dr Rose Elu, Elder from Saibai Island and campaigner on climate change who has presented papers at many forums and universities around the world, most recently at the UN in Paris
  • Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Queensland South Native Title Services
  • Hannah Duncan, lawyer and the granddaughter of the late Eddie Mabo.

At 2:00pm Join the MABO DAY CELEBRATIONS Facebook page for the #MDC2020 Virtual Gathering with Welcome to Country by Gaja Kerry Charlton, Acknowledgement of Country by Patty Mills, and performances by Jessie Lloyd, Rochelle Pitt and Joey Tapau.

From 7:30pm, Digi Youth Arts brings the voices of Torres Strait Islander youth to the front with a very special Mabo Day Virtual Event, MABO DYA.

About Mabo Day

On 3 June 1992, the High Court historically ruled that the lands of this continent were not terra nullius, thereby overturning the 200-year-old myth. Terra nullius was the legal understanding that prior to British Colonial settlement in 1788, this land was “empty” (or literally “nobody's land” in Latin) and therefore free to be claimed by the British Empire, despite the presence of between 750,000 and 1 million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who had lived on the continent for more than 80,000 years.

This year marks 28 years since the landmark decision was handed down by theHigh Court. Mabo Day, on Wednesday, 3 June 2020, falls at the end of Reconciliation Week, which begins on May 27th, the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum. Ordinarily, our communities hold events to celebrate Mabo Day with our music, we get together, we sing ,we eat, we remember Eddie Koiki Mabo and how in May 1982 he and fellow Murray (Mer) Islanders David Passi, Sam Passi, James Rice and Celuia Salee, campaigned for Indigenous land rights which ultimately overturned the legal myth of terra nullius, the legal precedent which systematically denied land and human rights to Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples for too long.

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