Kaleb Mabo wants to see the day honouring his grandfather, Eddie Koiki Mabo, to be made a national public holiday.
Mabo Day on June 3 is an official holiday in the Torres Strait but is not recognised as a public holiday nationally.
Eddie’s wife, the late Bonita Mabo had previously called for Mabo Day to be made a national public holiday in 2002 alongside their son Eddie Mabo Jr.
Kaleb said there should be a national holiday celebrating Indigenous people and their cultural connection to the land.
“I just don’t understand how, such a significant day like this, is not considered for a national public holiday,” he said.
“In terms of recognising that Indigenous Australia was here prior to terra nullius being established.
“Mabo day should be celebrated as a celebration of maintaining our cultural connection to our lands and it’s a day for non-Indigenous Australians to appreciate that Indigenous people were here.
“The holiday should be pushed more towards celebrating the celebration of culture and who we are as Indigenous people across Australia.”
Federal Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt said Mabo Day was an important day in recognising the overturning of terra nullius and paving the way for native title rights.
“The Morrison Government recognises that land security is economic security, and recent handbacks in the Northern Territory, including 50 per cent of Kakadu National Park last month, shows our commitment to empower Indigenous Australians to use their land for their future,” he said.
“A commitment that’s only possible because of Mabo, 30 years ago.
“While it is up to states and territories to declare public holidays, I would encourage all Australians to pause and reflect on June 3 this year to honour this milestone.”
Shadow Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said there was a need to acknowledge First Nations people.
“There’s a broad recognition in the community for the need for a national day to acknowledge First Nations people in Australia,” she said.
“I think there needs to be further conversation for us to settle on just how we do that.”
This year’s Mabo Day marks the 30th anniversary of the Mabo decision.