Eddie Mabo Essay

1286 Words Mar 17th, 2008 6 Pages
Introduction

Throughout Australian history, there have been men and women who fought for the entitlements of the indigenous people. The most respected and recognised of these is Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander. Mabo stood up for the rights of his people from a very young age all the way to his death, in order to generate changes in the policies and laws of the government. Mabo battled for his right to own the land which he had inherited from his adoptive father, a fight which was resolved only after his demise. Despite this, Eddie Mabo became one of the key influential figures in the Aboriginal rights movement, as his strong will, determination, and intelligence allowed him to bring about change.

Early Life

Mabo was born on
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He lived a simple existence with his family, caring for the land and learning the traditions of his people, until his exile from the island. However, meeting his soul mate Bonita in 1958 and marrying her in 1959 was one of the most significant events to affect him. Bonita quickly became the most significant person in his life and the driving inspirational force behind his political agendas. She stood by her husband no matter what, supporting him even when the pressures and struggles of life almost became too much to bear. Due to the nature of his political agenda, Eddie needed to move around a lot, and so Bonita helped to raise money in order to pay for these ventures. Towards his later life, Mabo began to drink heavily to escape from the pressures of daily life, and took out his frustration on his wife, both verbally and physically. Despite this, even when Bonita took the children and left, she always returned to support him, because she understood what he was going through. Eventually, Eddie learned to focus his frustrations onto other things, politics in particular.

Political Struggles

At the age of 16, Eddie began to question the system, and the government. He began to ask why it is that his race is treated differently, and subjected to cruel and unjust laws. This was the beginning of his career in politics. Later in his years, he learned that the land on Murray Island, which he

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