Mabo Day in Australia Date in the current year: June 3, 2016

Mabo Day in Australia June 3 is Mabo Day in Australia. This day commemorates a Torres Strait Islander Eddie Koiki Mabo and his campaign for land rights.

Eddie Mabo started a campaign for indigenous land rights, that led to a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia. According to its decision, the legal fiction of terra nullius (Roman law meaning “land belonging to no one”), that had characterized Australian law regarding land and tittle since the arrival of James Cook to the continent in 1770, was overturned on June 3, 1992.

Eddie Mabo died in 1992, but about half a year before he could see the results of his campaign. His wife, Bonita Mabo, suggested a national holiday Mabo Day to be observed on June 3 in 2002, on the 10th anniversary of the High Court decision. In 2003 the Aboriginal and Torres Islander Commissions launched a petition to make Mabo Day a public holiday in Australia. And in 2010 a campaign was launched to make June 3 a national holiday. Since Mabo Day commemorates the day when non-indigenous people were given a chance to reverse the damage caused by the colonization, this day is concerned as more significant to Australians, than Queen's Birthday, which is a national holiday.

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