8:30pm – Sunday, June 10 on ABC1

This telemovie tells the story of Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo, the Torres Strait Islander, who left school at 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius.

It traces Koiki’s life, through his early exile from his beloved Murray Island, his years of working on the trochus trawlers and the outback railways, to his decision to embrace activism. It also tells of his struggles to begin a school specifically for Aboriginal and Islander children.

Considered a ‘troublemaker’ by the white authorities, when Koiki tries to return to Murray Island to visit his dying father, the Murray Island Council – four times – denies him entry. His mistake, it seems, is choosing to be a black activist under the racist, repressive ‘police state’ of Bjelke Petersen’s Queensland.

When he learns that land on Murray he believes he owns, is legally gazetted as Crown Land, Koiki resolves to fight. This propels him into a ten year, life or death struggle against three mighty foes: the Queensland and Commonwealth governments, and the opposition, fear and conservatism of the authorities on Murray Island itself. Koiki, his fellow plaintiffs, their supporters and their legal team have few financial resources, up against the all-powerful Queensland government which uses every tactic in its arsenal. Year after year the struggle goes on, Koiki feeding his family on yams from the garden and fish from the river, giving his money, his strength, his health and, ultimately, his life to this titanic battle.

We learn as well of the tender love story of Koiki and Bonita, the woman he met as a teenager, and loved through thirty years as they raised ten children. And of the deep love and partnership that fuelled their unflagging fight to change the face of Australia forever.

ABC TV has announced its compelling, entertaining and intelligent programming slate for 2012.

Offering a diversity of voices, perspectives and ideas captured and conveyed through content that is distinctive, across multiple platforms and available on multiple devices, ABC TV will give you plenty to LOVE in 2012…

You’ll LOVE engaging and agenda-setting Australian drama…
Emmy award-winner Guy Pearce will star in two JACK IRISH telemovies; Essie Davis brings the dangerous detective world of Phryne Fisher to life in MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES; delve into an exotic and darkly humorous family crime story in THE STRAITS; and MABO will tell the story of how one man fought the system and won. REDFERN NOW is Australia’s first Indigenous primetime drama series; Richard Roxburgh returns in a second series of the hugely popular RAKE; and Geoffrey Rush stars in the critically acclaimed film adaptation THE EYE OF THE STORM.  

You’ll LOVE to be entertained…
Andrew Denton makes a much-anticipated return to our screens in a unique game show RANDLING; Shaun Micallef joins ABC TV to dissect the news that’s making the world turn in SHAUN MICALLEF IS MAD AS HELL; Myf Warhurst will take us on a cultural crusade in her own show MYF WARHURST’S NICE; and Andrew Günsberg presents PHOTO FINISH – a unique art series about photographic challenges. Adam Zwar chats to some of Australia’s funniest and wisest celebrities about love and relationships in AGONY UNCLES and AGONY AUNTS; and Adam Hills brings us another series of his unique take on the tonight show ADAM HILLS IN GORDON ST TONIGHT.

You’ll LOVE a good laugh…
Comedian Josh Thomas grows up quickly, and realises his parents aren’t heroes in PLEASE LIKE ME; the creators of the AFI Award-winning comedy Review with Myles Barlow bring us THIS CHRISTMAS; meet the desperate, dateless and the downright delusional in LOVE.SICK; OUTLAND follows the dramas of the members of a gay science fiction fan club; Frank Woodley stars in a comedy about the chaotic and accident-prone WOODLEY; LOWDOWN will again delve in to the murky world of tabloid journalism; while LAID returns with the comical motives of sex and death.

You’ll LOVE to learn something new…
Outstanding documentaries include John Clarke’s three-part SPORTING NATION; a major new history series AUSTRALIA ON TRIAL; the six-part OLYMPIC DREAMS; Richard Smith’s spectacular AUSTRALIA: A TIME TRAVELLER’S GUIDE; and take a fresh look at the most divisive issue of our times in CAN I CHANGE YOUR MIND… ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? 

William McInnes satisfies his curiosity about the history of objects in AUCTION ROOM; Annabel Crabb serves up a delectable combination of politics and food in KITCHEN CABINET; Chas Liccardello teams up with News Radio’s John Barron to scrutinise the race to the White House in PLANET AMERICA; and travel back in time 50,000 years in FIRST FOOTPRINTS.

You’ll LOVE something new for the kids…
Bindi Irwin hosts a thrilling new wildlife game show BINDI’S BOOT CAMP; catch the new dance craze sweeping Australia in DANCING DOWN UNDER; child actor Brandon Walters takes Studio 3’s Kayne Tremills on the adventure of a lifetime in BUSHWHACKED!; there’s a new character called Hootabelle on the popular series GIGGLE & HOOT; and a new series of the iconic BANANAS IN PYJAMAS and PLAYSCHOOL.

Kim Dalton, Director of Television says, “In 2012 we will continue to work with Australia’s best creative talent to deliver relevant, distinctive, agenda-setting, entertaining programs across more platforms and devices than any other broadcaster in Australia. “With a diversity of voices, perspectives and ideas captured and conveyed through content that is distinctive, there will be lots to love on ABC TV in 2012.”