Justice Crowley to deliver Mabo 30th anniversary speech

Queensland’s inaugural First Nations justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Lincoln Crowley, will be the keynote speaker at Townsville’s James Cook University (JCU) Mayo Lecture on Friday.

Justice Crowley has been invited to speak as part of the JCU events program commemorating the 30th anniversary of the landmark High Court Mabo ruling.

The Mayo Lecture is a prestigious annual event run by the College of Business, Law and Governance in conjunction with the James Cook University Law Students Society (JCULSS) in honour of Marylyn Mayo, JCU’s foundation law staff member.

On 3 June 1992 the High Court of Australia recognised that a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, held ownership of Mer (Murray Island). In acknowledging the traditional rights of the Meriam people to their land, the court also held that native title existed for all Indigenous people.

Justice Crowley, a proud descendant of the Northern Territory’s Warramunga people, became only the second judge appointed to Queensland’s superior courts – behind District Court Judge Nathan Jarro four years earlier – and the inaugural First Nations appointment to the higher jurisdiction in May this year.

In another first, Justice Crowley also became the first Indigenous person appointed to any Supreme Court in Australia.


His Honour is an alumnus of JCU, having graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1996, and has since been the recipient of the university’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

The in-person ticket allocation to attend the event at the university’s Bebegu Yumba Campus has been exhausted, however the lecture can be watched via a livestream link and is scheduled to commence at 6.30pm on Friday 14 October.

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