...a symbol of strength...
'Eddie Mabo represented somebody who wasn't just going to sit back and take it. Eddie Mabo's not someone you see as a victim. He's perceived to be strong. He fought for what was his right and his peoples' right through the white channels, the institutional channels. So people full of hate have perceived him as being a smart man who was going to beat them at their own game. But he was a symbol of strength, of Indigenous strength and people who have racist views don't necessarily cope very well with perceptions of strength. They need to perceive people as being weaker then them, less able than them.'
Keywords: activism, backlash, desecration, human rights, racism, resistance, tombstone ceremony
Zita Antonius, Federal Commissioner for Human Rights, interviewed by Trevor Graham 1996.
Author: Graham, Trevor
© Film Australia
Source: Zita Antonius