Remembering Mabo reflects on the historic Mabo decision and the Native Title ruling.

The film will be projected onto the Australian National Maritime Museum’s iconic rooftop during Reconciliation Week (May 27 - June 3 2019) each night between 5-6pm, and visible across Darling Harbour with best vantage points to view from Pyrmont Bridge, King Street Wharf and Barangaroo.


Directed and animated by Aboriginal artist Jake Duczynski in collaboration with Jono Delbridge, Remembering Mabo shares the important story of the 1992 case for native title in Australia known as Mabo v Queensland (No 2). Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander, was the lead plaintiff in the case which challenged the notion of terra nullis in the High Court. The Mabo case ran for 10 years, eventually leading to the recognition and protection of native title across Australia through the introduction of the Native Title Act.

The bold and bright projection begins in Eddie Mabo’s homeland, the Island of Mer in the Torres Strait, and highlights his 1981 speech in which he talked about his people’s beliefs about their ownership of the land. It goes on to demonstrate how this speech led to the lengthy court case which eventually redressed the declaration that Australia belonged to no one. It closes with a map of Australia depicting the many communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have lived here for millennia.

Remembering Mabo features Constellation II, an artwork by Eddie Mabo’s daughter Gail Mabo which is part of the Australian National Maritime Collection.

The two and a half minute projection is set to a collaborative soundtrack by Oliver Hollenbach and Torres Strait Islander musician Mau Power.

National Reconciliation Week runs annually from 27 May – 3 June
The 2019 NRW theme is Grounded in Truth Walk Together with Courage

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for NRW remain the same each year - 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Main image: Constellation II, monoprint on paper by Gail Mabo. The image has three main elements; the swirling star constellation, ancestral spirit figures before the coming of the boats, and the boats which represent European occupation. ANMM Collection 00054383, © Gail Mabo/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017. Purchased with funds from the Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler program supporting Contemporary Indigenous Maritime Heritage in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands through the ANM Foundation.


You may also like

A marine ecology installation created by Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous collaborating artists from Erub Arts on Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait, Australia.

Learn More

See the world through a new lens

Learn More

Exhibition | 22 Jun 2020 - 28 Jan 2021

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A thought-provoking contemporary art exhibition about shark protection

Learn More

Exhibition | 11 Dec 2018 - 02 Jun 2019

On Sharks & Humanity