Eddie Koiki Mabo

Eddie Koiki Mabo, smiling, sitting in front of a traditional fish trap on the island of Mer
Koiki Mabo at Las, Murray Island September 1989. Courtesy of Trevor Graham, Yarra Bank Films.

Eddie Koiki Mabo (known as Koiki) is remembered for his commitment and tireless effort to educate others about the rights and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Koiki famously challenged the Australian legal system and won his people’s case for land ownership. The Mabo decision on 3 June, 1992 was one of the most significant turning points for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the fight for native title.

Koiki had a strong and long-lasting connection with James Cook University, spending several years working, teaching, and learning on campus. His time at the university was a key moment in his life; it was here that he began his journey to challenge land ownership laws on Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait.

The JCU Library is proud to have the main library building named the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, and to celebrate our connection with this inspiring man who proved that informed action can bring about great change.


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