Mabo Interpretive Wall


The members of the JCU community who work in and visit the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library have always been proud of the connection of the library to the Mabo story. For many years a small timeline and poster display on the first floor of the library conveyed the story of this connection to people visiting the library. The library’s staff had long felt it would be fitting to have a larger, more permanent display telling the story of Eddie Koiki Mabo. An opportunity presented itself when an area of the ground floor required a redesign and the new layout offered the opportunity tell this story. The university provided the funding to develop this new display as part of JCU’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

With a remit to celebrate the 50th anniversary theme of “People, Place, Knowledge, Legacy”, it was agreed the space should also acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land the library building stands upon.  Because of their expertise in creating interpretive displays, the library connected with Queensland Museum Network and worked with them to create two large panels of work illustrating the timelines of Mabo, the Country on which the library sits and the library building. A third panel incorporated a large digital screen, which allowed for dynamic content and to build on the time points illustrated in the timeline. By its nature, a timeline can only deliver highlights, but the digital component of the Mabo Interpretative Wall was intended to be a dynamic component that would allow different aspects of the story to be highlighted at different times. Visitors to the library would be able to see the display change over time.

Virtual tour of the Mabo Timeline interpretive wall

You can take a virtual tour of the Mabo Interpretive Wall on the ground floor of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library. Use the arrows to move between different parts of the wall, where you can zoom in and drag to read the text and see the photos. You can also watch the video presentation on the third panel of the wall.

Mabo Interpretive Wall Panels

Panel 1: Acknowledgement of Country, introduction of the Library (including abridged timeline), and introdcution of Eddie Koiki Mabo.
Panel 2: Eddie Koiki Mabo timeline with related events and imagery, with details of the University included.
Panel 3: Digital display with hand-painted symbols by artist Bernadette Boscacci that relate to the timeline and shared cultural imagery: A shooting star, which is significant to the Bindal people, and the Tagai constellation.

Mabo Interpretive Wall Digital Display

The video below shows the content created for the digital display Mabo Interpretive Wall for the 50th anniversary of James Cook University.




Eddie Koiki Mabo: History in the Making Copyright © by James Cook University Library. All Rights Reserved.