Land Bilong Islanders

Australia, 1990

Film

Murray Island, a tiny speck in the Coral Sea, on the northernmost fringe of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful and isolated places in Australia, if not the world. However, Murray Island, or Mer as it is called by the Merlam people, is the centre of a legal battle that questions the very basis of European settlement in Australia. Three Murray Islanders have taken the Queensland and Australian Governments to court claiming that islanders, not the State, own island land. They say that in Merlam law and custom their families had, since time immemorial, distinct rights to the land and to adjoining seabeds and reefs. Islanders argue that those rights continued after the island was annexed to the then British Colony of Queensland.

Credits

director

Trevor Graham

producer

Sharon Connolly

production company

Channel 4

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Yarra Bank Films

Language

English

Duration

00:52:00:00

Colour

Colour

ACMI Identifier

36508

Audience classification

Exempt

Subject categories

Aboriginal Australia → Aboriginal Australians - Civil rights

Aboriginal Australia → Aboriginal Australians - Land tenure

Aboriginal Australia → Native title (Australia)

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Murray Islands (Qld.)

Documentary

Documentary → Documentary films - Australia

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Native title (Australia)

History → Australia - History - 1965-

History → Australia - History - 1976-1990

People → Mabo, Eddie, 1936-1992

Places → Murray Islands (Qld.)

Sound/audio

Sound

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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Cite this work

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/80690--land-bilong-islanders/ |title=Land Bilong Islanders |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=25 January 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}