The Mabo Oration is a biennial event organised by us in partnership with QPAC, and is the Commission's public commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Queensland.
It celebrates and pays tribute to Eddie Mabo and the landmark High Court decision which legally recognised that Indigenous people had a special relationship to the land that existed prior to colonisation. The inaugural Mabo Oration was held on 3 June 2005 at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane and was given by Noel Pearson.
The most recent oration was held in June 2019 and featured Luke Pearson, founder and CEO of IndigenousX, as our orator. Luke is a Gamilaroi man who has worked as a teacher, mentor, counsellor, public speaker, collaborator, mediator, facilitator, events manager, researcher, evaluator, reporter and much more. Luke's passion for IndigenousX stems from his belief in the need to improve Indigenous media representation in Australia and to have a platform for individuals to tell their own stories in their own words.
- 2017 Mabo Oration: panel discussion
- 2015 Mabo Oration: Dr Dawn Casey
- 2013 Mabo Oration: Les Malezer
- 2011 Mabo Oration: Terri Janke
- 2009 Mabo Oration: Tom Calma
- 2007 Mabo Oration: Larissa Behrendt
- 2005 Inaugural Mabo Oration: Noel Pearson
2017 Mabo Oration: panel discussion
To mark the 25th anniversary of the historic Mabo decision in the High Court, the 2017 Mabo Oration was presented as a panel discussion facilitated by journalist and author Stan Grant.
- Professor Tom Calma AO
- Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA
- Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC
- Jayde Geia
- Vonda Malone
The 2017 Mabo Oration was held in the Playhouse, QPAC on 28 August.
2015 Mabo Oration: Dr Dawn Casey
The sixth Mabo Oration was delivered by Dr Casey PSM FAHA, titled The Mabo judgment: Was it the agent for change and recognition?
2013 Mabo Oration: Les Malezer
Les Malezer, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples delivered the fifth Mabo Oration on 21 July 2013. It was titled Corroboree.
Father Frank Brennan delivered the commentary.
2011 Mabo Oration: Terri Janke
The fourth Mabo Oration was delivered by Terri Janke, and was entitled: Follow the stars: Indigenous culture, knowledge and intellectual property rights.
Bryan Keon-Cohen delivered the commentary.
2009 Mabo Oration: Tom Calma
The third Mabo Oration was delivered by Tom Calma, and was entitled: From self-respect comes dignity, and from dignity comes hope: meeting the challenge of social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Murray Wilcox QC delivered the commentary.
2007 Mabo Oration: Larissa Behrendt
The second Mabo Oration was delivered by Larissa Behrendt, and was entitled: Finding the promise of Mabo: Law and Social Justice for the First Australians..
2005 Mabo Oration: Noel Pearson
The inaugural Mabo Oration was delivered by Noel Pearson in 2005, and was entitled: Peoples, Nations and Peace.