Project Description

Robert Zezou Sambo was the biological father of Meriam man Eddie Koiki Mabo (1936-1992) whose landmark Native Title case overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius (nobody’s land) in Australia. As an infant, Eddie was adopted by his Uncle Benny and Aunty Maigo after his mother passed away. His biological father, Robert Sambo, also worked for the advancement of Indigenous people and, in World War Two, he had served with the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion. His descendants were familiar with his role in coastal defence, spotting incoming enemy aircraft in the Torres Strait, but they wanted details of his military service, which had included a period in New Guinea.