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Mabo home
...Wasn't it the case?...
'This whole litigation had been on train for four years before anyone climbed in the witness box. So Eddie Mabo's evidence had been anticipated by Queensland. They'd done an enormous amount of research. They, for example, had researched all the social security cards of his parents to try and work out whether or not he had been named as an adopted child or just a child for whom his adopted parents assumed some sort of foster responsibly for. And they were able to put some very penetrating propositions to him in cross examination. Like "Wasn't it the case that your adopted mother only had you in the house so that she could apply for and receive added social security benefits from the Commonwealth? And it had nothing to do with you assuming any traditional rights or interest in land by reason that you were island adopted?" Now these are well researched, penetrating questions. They were proper questions. They were tough questions. And they had an impact.'

Keywords: adoption, evidence, Keon-Cohen, Bryan, Mabo, Benny, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mabo, Maiga, plaintiffs, witnesses, 1986

Interviewed by Trevor Graham, 1996.
Author: Graham, Trevor
© Film Australia
Source: Keon-Cohen, Bryan