The Tuesday that has just passed, the 3rd of June, was Mabo day. To commemorate Mabo day, the Torres Strait Regional Authority has held its monthly Board meeting this week on Murray Island (known to traditional inhabitants as Mer Island), which was the birthplace of Eddie Mabo. I’ve been working on a project for the TSRA and felt privileged to present the report, co-authored with my colleagues Craig, Amanda and Jeremy, to the TSRA Board today on Murray Island.
Mabo’s legacy is ongoing. Last year, the Torres Strait people won a claim for native title over the sea (see Native title rights, regulations and licences: the Torres Strait Sea Claim). This will likely have wider ramifications than a strict reading of the judgment would suggest. It has encouraged the people of Torres Strait in their push for greater control of the fisheries in their region. This has the potential to provide a significant and sustainable income stream to Torres Strait communities, and may promote further economic development.
I’ve posted some photos from my visit to Murray Island below.