1 Jun 2012

20th anniversary of Mabo judgement

3:45 pm on 1 June 2012

Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the landmark Mabo judgement in Australia's High Court.

The judgement on 3 June 1992, completely changed land law in Australia by acknowledging the right of people who had been continuously living in an area to its possession, use and enjoyment.

Torres Shire Council Mayor Pedro Stephen said the ruling continues to play an important part in Islander identity.

He said the entire region will be celebrating Mabo Day this Sunday.

But the ABC reports a lot of people believe the fight for full native title rights for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders is not yet over.

They are committed to changing a ruling made this year that found native title rights do not extend to taking fish or other aquatic life for sale or trade.

The event will be marked on Thursday Island, the home of the late Eddie Mabo, who was the guiding force for the successful claim two decades ago.

Mr Mabo died five months before the decision in 1992. His wife Bonita Mabo said her husband had no doubts they would the win the case.

''On his death bed he said, 'when the judgment comes down I would like the day to be a holiday for all Australians','' she said.