...he was crucial...
'In my view he was crucial. He was extremely well versed in the traditions and customs of his people. He was equally intelligent enough to listen to us, the lawyers, to understand the way in which we had to present the evidence to an Australian court sitting in Brisbane, a hundred thousand miles away from Murray Island. And it was his role to bring the two cultures together. So we would rely on him to explain to his families, to his friends and to the witnesses, how they should present their evidence, why it was that we the lawyers were asking silly, inquisitive questions about whose land was who.'
Keywords: Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo v Queensland No.1, Meriam culture, 1989
Bryan Keon-Cohen interviewed by Trevor Graham in 'Mabo - Life of an Island Man', 1997. Still:Eddie Mabo talking to witnesses on Mer. Courtesy of Trevor Graham.
Author: Graham, Trevor
© Film Australia
Source: Keon-Cohen, Bryan