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The Plaintiffs
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Flo Kennedy:
This is what would have happened to anyone who tried to take our lands in the early days. They would have had their heads taken off with a bamboo knife though.

But today we have to use their kind of weapons, so we took them to court.


James Rice:
I'm plaintiff for this court case, all right. You know why I get in there? This area, this land here's ours. Our ancestors were living here for many, many, many years before I was born. There was no white people. Alright? There was no white people here on Murray Island.

Reverend Passi:
It's my father's land, it's my grandfather's land, my grandmother's land... where I'm related to it. And, ah... which also gives me my identity. Ah. If I don't fight far it, then... ah... I will be moved out of it and that will be loss of my identity. Therefore, I'm fighting very hard in that case. That's why I became a plaintiff.


Eddie Mabo:
If only we can get those people to recognise us... I suppose by saying that, that the only way that we can prove that the system do exist is to convince the white man's law system to recognize that we have a custom, a tradition and set of rules that we have to abide by.


Narration:
Eddie Mabo is the first named Plaintiff in the court action which has become known as the Mabo Case.

Like his fellow plaintiffs Mabo claims that he and his family, not the state, should have legal title to land on Murray Island.

In 1989 the plaintiffs appeared in the Queensland Supreme Court to give evidence in support of their claims.
Indigenous Customary Law
Topic
 
indigenous people, Mabo judgement, native title
Belonging To Country
Topic
 
aborigines, Australia, dreamtime, indigenous Australians, land ownership, land rights, sacred
Adapted To Their Continent
Topic
 
Australia, First Fleet, indigenous people, land use
A Sacred Landscape
Topic
 
aboriginal property ownership, anthropology, Australia, clans, dispossession, kinship, land ownership, religion, sacred
Funding
Topic
 
barristers, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, plaintiffs
The Murray Islanders' Evidence
Topic
1986
evidence, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Murray Island, plaintiffs, witnesses
Eddie Mabo - Linchpin
Topic
1986-89
Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo family
Dispossession
Topic
 
colonisation, dispossession
Five Plaintiffs
Topic
May, 1982
evidence, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, plaintiffs
Mabo Case Commences
Topic
1982
claim, High Court of Australia, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, plaintiffs
Preparations On The Long Journey To Justice
Topic
1981
Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki
Great Northern Expedition
Topic
1989
Great Northern expedition, Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mer, Moynihan, Justice Martin, Murray Island, Supreme Court of Queensland
The Leading Plaintiff
Topic
 
Mabo Case, Mabo, Edward Koiki, plaintiffs