Celebrating Mabo Day As An Inspiration For Efforts Still To Come

Mabo Day not only celebrates the achievements of Eddie Mabo, but the past and continuing efforts of Victorian Traditional Owners in pursuing native title recognition.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Natalie Hutchins, today called for Victorians to commemorate the courageous efforts of Torres Strait Islander Eddie Koiki Mabo and his co-plaintiffs in bringing about the High Court’s decision on 3 June 1992 which led to the passing of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Ms Hutchins said Aboriginal self-determination is a priority for the Andrews Labor Government, and that it will help to shape future policies and the recognition of rights.

The Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic), introduced by the previous Labor Government, provides a simpler process for recognising Aboriginal rights over land in Victoria. It is the only state legislation of its kind in Australia.

The Taungurung Traditional Owner group and the Labor Government are currently negotiating under the Act to recognise Taungurung rights over parts of Central Victoria.

It is the first time the Victorian Government and a traditional owner group have worked together to resolve a native title settlement exclusively outside of the Federal Court’s claims process.

Ms Hutchins said the negotiation with Taungurung Traditional Owners is a real example of the Labor Government’s commitment to working with Aboriginal Victorians.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Natalie Hutchins

“Mabo Day is a time for celebrating positive change brought about by Aboriginal people, and today should serve as an inspiration for our efforts ahead.”

“There’s so much more to be done. We need to give Aboriginal Victorians a seat at our table, and make it their table too. That’s what leadership requires, and that’s what we’re committed to doing.”

“The Andrews Labor Government will continue to work with Traditional Owners to acknowledge them as the original inhabitants and custodians of the land.”

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