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Edward Koiki Sambo

Edward Koiki Sambo

Birth and Nationality

Eddie Mabo, or Edward Koiki Sambo, was born on June 29, 1936 on Murray Island in the Torres Strait. After his mother’s death, his uncle Benny Mabo adopted him.

Spouse and Children

As a result of a teenage prank, Eddie was exiled from the island at the tender age of 16. At 23, he married Bonita Neehow and eventually had ten children.

Career and Advocacy

At 31, he became the gardener of James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. There, he sort of educated himself by seating-in on lectures and classes and going to the library. In 1981, he was given the chance to speak about the land inheritance system when the land rights conference was held in James Cook University. His concern for the land inheritance made one of the attendees, a lawyer, suggest� a test case to redeem the rights of the land through the court system. Eddie Mabo headed the questioning of terra nullius in the high court. The decision came ten years later.

Mabo in Townsvillie was elected as president for Yumba Meta. He was the first to establish a school in 1973 for Australian Black Community, Australia.


While battling with the high court, Eddie was also battling with cancer. At the age of 55, on January 22, 1992, Eddie Mabo succumbed to the sickness.

Honors and Awards

1992- Australian Human Rights Medal from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Awards

1992- Australian of the Year from The Australian

21st May 2008- The library of James Cook University was named after him

10th June 2012 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation has broadcast television docudrama which is based on the life of Mabo.

Every year on 3rd June Mabo Day is celebrated which is an official holiday in Torres Shire of Queensland, Australia.

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

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