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Mabo home
...there goes my dust...
Trevor Graham: In traditional times they were very strict about trespass on another persons land?

Ron Day: It was that strict that it means your life. And it's not only on the lands, it's also around the seabeds. They were so proud people, they defended their land, their seabed and everything around, the environment as a whole from anybody who'd come in to take it over. Every inch of the land is owned by somebody and we're not only looking at the land itself, we're also looking at the reefs, and the water, the seabed. So in those days if you collect fish in a fish trap, you'd either be chased out, but I'd say instantly killed. People could say, when the wind blows the dust from your land, you say, 'there goes my dust!'. That's how people feel about what is rightfully theirs.
Keywords: Day, Ron, fish traps, fish traps, land ownership, sea rights, trespass

Ron Day, Chairman of Murray Island Council interviewed by Trevor Graham, 1989.
Author: Sharp, Nonie
© Yarra Bank Films P/L
Source: Day, Ron