Federation Square and the Koorie Heritage Trust invite you to come together and celebrate Mabo Day with the Torres Strait Islander community of Victoria to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Mabo Decision. Join us down on the Birrarung (River Terrace) next to Federation Square, bring blankets and a picnic to share, sit and enjoy live music, performances and family activities with the Victorian Torres Strait Islander community.
Mabo v Queensland (commonly known as the Mabo Decision) was a landmark case, in which Eddie Koiki Mabo (Meriam) challenged the notion of ‘Terra Nullius’; that Australia was a ‘land belonging to no one’, in the High Court of Australia. His victory and the resulting decision recognised Native Title rights for Indigenous people in Australia for the first time since colonisation. On June 3 1992 it was ruled that the Meriam people of the Murray Islands were entitled to the possession, occupation, use and end enjoyment of (most) of the Murray Islands, setting a precedent for Native Title cases throughout Australia
To celebrate, enjoy a fantastic program of live Torres Strait Islander performances including music and entertainment, featuring theLiz Cavanagh Ensemble, The Jess’s (Jessie Lloyd and Jessica Hitchcock), and many more. Artists Destiny Deacon and Clinton Nain will lead kids activities, with a painting workshop and a colouring-in table of Torres Strait Islander designs. Local Meriam chef, Nornie Bero will also be giving a cooking demonstration throughout the afternoon, making traditional Torres Strait Islander sweets.
In the lead up to Reconciliation Week we will share some family Torres Strait Islander recipes online for you to try out at home and then bring along on the day! There will also be a coffee cart with treats for sale from local Aboriginal restaurant Charcoal Lane.
Image used with permission by Gail Mabo, 2017