Eddie Mabo Case Study

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Developing an understanding of the history of colonisation and the traumatic and intergenerational effects this has had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is vital to the work of Social Workers to ensure beneficial, safe and respectful relationships with Indigenous clients. Colonisation had and continues to have devastating effects on these communities, their cultures and their identities heightening the need of Social Work aid, particularly in areas of human rights, advocacy and the prevention of institutional racism.

Eddie Mabo has become a well known name throughout Australia. Signifying an important change within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community particularly relating to traditional land rights. Eddie Mabo
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The outcome of this court case lead to the insertion of a legal doctrine of native title into Australian Law, recognising the traditional rights of the Meriam people to their islands in the Torres Strait, the Court also held that native title existed for all Indigenous peoples in Australia who held rights in their lands under their own laws and customs prior to colonisation. The new doctrine of native title replaced a 17th century doctrine of terra nullius, the claim that the British made allowing them to take possession of Australia without treaty or payment (Australians Together, 2017). Effectively denying Indigenous people’s prior occupation of and connection to the…show more content…
The legacy of the role of social work and welfare services within the implementation of government policies in the past can still compromise relationships within communities, social workers are responsible for ensuring our practice is culturally responsive, safe and sensitive to stop this perpetuation of distrust in support services. As social workers it is important to commit to reconciliation, to addressing divisions and inequities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australian’s and improving these relationships. The strength and resilience of these communities are impacted by multiple problems including historical and ongoing dispossession, marginalisation and racism, along with past policies of forced removal and cultural assimilation all negatively contributing to many of the social issues we find affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today (Australian Association of Social Workers, 2017). As social workers it is a large role of ours to familiarise and understand the organisations, services and agencies who are planning and/or delivering Indigenous-specific services and to work alongside these groups,
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