Over time a range of laws concerning Indigenous Australians have been passed since the European settlement of Australia, initially by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, then by the Governors or legislature of each Australian colonies and more recently by the Parliament of Australia and that of each of its States and Terrritories,
The most relevant to you in your study of Mabo is the Native Title Act. Good background information is available on the ABS website, Wikipedia, the NFSA digital learning site, the Creative Spirits site and the information published by the Human Rights Council.
The following clips are from the Screen Australia archive
Blood Brothers (1993) – From Little Things Big Things Grow
Clip 1: No more music: Carmody tells how he and his brother were taken from their parents and put in a 'school’ (converted army barracks) and never lived at home again. Historical stills and footage show the young Carmody brothers and the school.
Clip 2: Wave Hill walkout: Kevin Carmody and Paul Kelly discuss the song 'From Little Things Big Things Grow’. They also discuss the Wave Hill walkout, when the Gurindji people – led by Vincent Lingiari – went on strike to get their land back from British Lord Vestey. Black-and-white footage of the actual strike is juxtaposed with the interview with Carmody and Kelly.
Mabo: an address to the nation
Mabo: an address to the nation is Prime Minister Paul Keating's endorsement of the Mabo decision. He sets up the context for his government’s plans by outlining the deep connection of Australia’s first inhabitants to their land and highlighting the ‘lie’ that Australia ‘belonged to no-one’ when European settlement began. His message is that wrongs of the past must be righted.
First Australians / SBS TV / Clips from Screen Australia website
Episode 7, We are no longer shadows 2008
The seventh and final episode of First Australians covers the period 1967–93, focusing on the Torres Strait Islands and Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo’s fight for land rights. This period was, globally, a time of increased civil rights advocacy and political activism, but also of a high level of racism and oppression of Aboriginal people, especially in Queensland.
Clip 1: 'We'd have to start to get political'. The rousing introduction to this episode is a stark reminder of the inequality experienced by black people all over the world. Mabo’s recollection of his treatment by white hotel owners and the hard life that he and his family led because of this inequality is very touching and a revealing insight into his life in the lead-up to his famous battle for land rights.
Clip 2: Discriminatory legislation. Narrator Rachel Perkins and Father Frank Brennan explain legislation brought in by the Queensland government to quash Mabo’s land claim. Barrister Bryan Keon-Cohen QC and historian Professor Marcia Langton of the Yiman-Bidjara Nation describe consequences of the legislation and its eventual dismissal by the High Court of Australia. We see the bicentenary protests on Australia Day 1988, and then Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s reaction to his inability to secure a treaty.
Clip 3: 'Campaign of Fear'. Father Frank Brennan, Eddie’s daughter Gail Mabo of the Meriam and Manbarra Nations and Donald Whaleboat of the Meriam Nation, talk about Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo and the outcomes of the trial. Narrator Rachel Perkins and historian Professor Marcia Langton of the Yiman-Bidjara Nation, accompanied by archival footage, describe the negative public reaction to the High Court decision.
Browse articles online in the Aboriginal Law Bulletin and Indigenous Law Bulletin
AUSTLII is a searchable legal database that provides text of legislation (eg. Native Title Act, 1993) and court rulings (Wik and Mabo)
AIATSIS, Native Title Research Unit
AnTAR, Native Title and Land Rights
Mabo vs Queensland the High Court decision
National Native Title Tribunal is an
independent body set up under the Native Title Act 1993 to facilitate native title outcomes
The Sunday Age - A judgement that changed Australia (pdf), 9 June 2002. On the 10th anniversary of the Mabo Decision.
The Australian – National Affairs : Time to revisit native title laws Paul Keating June 01, 2011
The Sydney Morning Herald – National Times Squatters, native title and the fight for indigenous land rights by Paul Keating
June 1, 2011. Paul Keating was Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996. This is an extract of his Lowitja O'Donoghue Oration delivered 31 May, 2011
The Guardian 8 June, 2005
Queensland's darkest days
Queensland Aboriginal activists have remembered former Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen as they saw him — as a "paternalistic", cruel and "racist" man who reigned over a time of great conflict and oppression in Queensland Indigenous affairs