State Funeral for Dr Ernestine ‘Bonita’ Mabo AO

Published: Comments:
Community Indigenous & Heritage Queensland Government


Queenslanders are invited to celebrate the life of Dr Ernestine ‘Bonita’ Mabo AO, a prominent advocate for the rights of First Nations people and Indigenous education.

The State Funeral will take place at:

1:00pm, Thursday 6 December 2018
Townsville Stadium, 40-48 Murray Lyons Crescent, Annandale, Townsville.

Relatives, friends, members of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait, and Australian South Sea Islander communities and general public are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Diabetes Queensland at

Parking is available on-site, and taxi services are available. For public transport options visit:

Dr Mabo will be remembered as a matriarch of reconciliation and native title, working alongside her husband, Edward ‘Koiki’ Mabo, for the recognition of Indigenous land rights in Australia.

She was involved in a number of Indigenous organisations including spending 10 years on the Central Queensland Land Council.

In 2013 she was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the Indigenous community and to human rights as an advocate for the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander peoples.

Dr Mabo started Australia’s first community school, the Black Community School in Townsville and was a champion of Indigenous education.

She was also a staunch advocate for Australian South Sea Islanders and was honorary patron of the Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson, the interim Australian South Sea Islander national body.

In November this year, Dr Mabo was awarded a James Cook University honorary doctorate for “recognition of her outstanding contribution, made over 45 years, to the community, particularly her advocacy and campaigning for Indigenous schooling and the rights of Indigenous Australians and Australian South Sea Islanders”.

Enquiries should be directed to:

Protocol Queensland
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Phone: (07) 3003 9253 during business hours

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Annastacia Palaszczuk : Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade :
PO Box 15185, City East, Queensland 4002, Queensland Wide
07 3224 4500
Annastacia Palaszczuk : Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade
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