Special Lecture - Commemorating 25th Anniversary of Mabo Day

"Twenty five years since the historic Mabo High Court judgment; reflections on the journey so far and future pathways" 

with Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland South Native Title Services

The 3rd June 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of the decision made in the landmark case led by Eddie Koiki Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander man, who believed that Australian laws on land ownership were wrong and campaigned to change them.

Mabo Day commemorates the decision by the High Court of Australia in 1992 that overturned the legal principle of terra nullius thereby recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have rights to the land – rights that existed before the British arrived and can still exist today.

Kevin Smith will present a brief history of the social, legal and political implications of the Mabo High Court judgment over the past 25 years and predictions on future trends.

Kevin Smith is a descendant of the Meriam Peoples of the Torres Strait with traditional connections to Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley Island). Kevin has over 20 years of professional experience in Indigenous affairs, including senior positions with the National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations, the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, the National Native Title Tribunal, the National Native Title Council and Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL).

In 2008, Kevin successfully led the amalgamation and incorporation of the former Gurang and Greater Mount Isa Native Title Representative Body areas into Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS). Kevin holds qualifications in both law and business management from the University of Queensland. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1994.

“Legal recognition of traditional rights and interests in land and waters is by no means the panacea of many chronic contemporary issues facing Aboriginal People but it can be a powerful, practical and symbolic tool in both healing the past and strengthening the future. To me, when you work in native title, you work in an area that is both ‘peace-making’ and ‘future-forging’; I can’t think of a greater honour to make a contribution.”

This special lecture is a collaborative initiative of the SEQ Mabo Day Steering Committee and the Queensland Museum Network.

Monday 29 May 2017
Queensland Museum Theatre, Level 2
5:30pm for 6pm
Limited seating. Bookings required.
RSVP by Thursday 25 May 2017 by email to MaboLecture@qm.qld.gov.au

Event Details

29 May 2017