Mabo - Life of an Island Man


A man ahead of his time, Eddie Koiki Mabo, left an indelible legacy to the people of Australia, reshaping the landscape and opening up possibilities that many never dared dream of. The gentle spoken individual behind one of the most important developments in Australian history, Mabo - Life of An Island Man is the AFI Award winning film about the public and private man and his inspirational triumph of justice.

Born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait, Eddie Mabo tragically lived most of his life in exile. It was not until June 3 1992, six months after his death, that the entire island community welcomed him home, after the High Court of Australia upheld his claim that Murray Islanders held "native title" to three islands within the region - successfully challenging the notion of terra nullius, which asserted that Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders did not have a system of legal ownership predating white settlement.

Both controversial and captivating, filmmaker Trevor Graham delves deep into the life of a devoted and passionate family man, investigating the dynamic persona that would challenge the Australian socio-political climate and fight for change every step of the way, forever ensuring his place on Murray Island and in Australian history.


Release dates
1997 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
2 January 2012
G - general

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, Mabo - Life of an Island Man, <>, retrieved 24 October 2020

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