Mau Power


Torres Straits Leader Calls for National Public Holiday

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Mau Power is the first rapper to emerge from the rich musical traditions of the Torres Strait, a local leader and a lyrical storyteller at the crossroads of Indigenous and hip-hop culture. KOIKI is the story he was born to take to the nation and to the world, a celebration of the historic victory of his countryman Eddie Mabo in overturning the fiction of terra nullius and advancing the cause of indigenous land rights.

KOIKI is a potent anthem for the 25th anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s landmark ruling, commonly referred to as Mabo, which recognised native title in Australia for the first time. Today, Mr Mabo’s descendants are joining with Mau Power to call for a new day of remembrance, a national holiday to celebrate the land that will always unite us more profoundly than European history.

Mau Power (born Patrick Mau) is a Dhoebaw man of the Guda Malullgal nations, greatly respected as a voice of empowerment and inspiration among the people of the Torres Strait. He was the clear choice of Eddie Mabo’s daughter, Auntie Gail Mabo, to sing the song she wrote as an ode to her late father some 20 years after his 1992 passing.

“Koiki was my father’s tribal name, the name everyone in Torres Straits called him,” Auntie Gail explains. “This song tells the story of his journey, how he planted the seed for us to reclaim our heritage and for our children to grow up proud and strong, to know their place in history and know this land is where they belong, now and forever.”

Everyone in the Torres Strait is super proud of Koiki Mabo,” Mau Power says. “He is a hero up there. When Gail approached me to reinvigorate this song I was deeply honoured. For years we’ve discussed that many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people want to see the date, June 3, become a national holiday. On the 25th anniversary, we feel we have waited long enough.”

KOIKI opens with the arresting fanfare of the “Bu Shell” [aka Conch Shell], the resolute march of handclaps and a spoken report of the 1992 Mabo ruling, describing a courageous freedom fighter who challenged the most powerful laws of the country to enshrine a timeless legacy for future generations.

The vocals in the song’s chorus are sampled from Gail Mabo’s original version with some notable additions. Charles Passi is the son of Mr Mabo’s warrior in arms, David Passi, who is also mentioned in the song’s lyrics. Backing vocals by Tongan/Kamillaroi soul man Radical Son and Yorta Yorta rocker Benny Walker emphasise the vast circle of solidarity that gives KOIKI its powerful subtext. The song will be appear on a forthcoming album to be released late 2017 and titled “Blue Lotus: The Awakening”.

June 3 has long been a day for celebration in the Torres Strait. For the 25th Anniversary this year, more widespread events are planned from northern Queensland to Melbourne, where the Koori Heritage Trust will stage an event in Federation Square.


Right now, the date of Australia’s national day of unification and celebration is ripe for change.

The theme for this moment is KOIKI.

Links ››

 Paul Keating in Parliament 

“Mabo is the greatest land decision since federation.”

Paul Keating speech – Redfern

Eddie Mabo Film

Mabo – Wikipedia

BBC Article

Media enquires

Chryss Carr // 0417 800 869
Cooper-Lily Nikora // // 0432 601 211