1992: High Court Decision in the Mabo Case

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Mabo Decision where six out of seven High Court judges agreed that the Meriam people held traditional ownership of the lands of Mer in the Torres Strait. Eddie Koiki Mabo successfully argued that his family’s ancestral land was not owned by the Crown. This landmark decision in the High Court of Australia overturned ‘terra nullius’, an understanding that Australia was empty land belonging to no one before British occupation.

1838: Myall Creek Massacre, NSW

The Myall Creek Massacre was just one example of the widespread culture of frontier violence against Aboriginal people in New South Wales in the 1830’s. Muswellbrook police magistrate Edward Denny Day described this ongoing conflict as ‘a war of extermination’ by some stockmen, settlers, and convicts.