Glossary beginning with M


A 1992 landmark Australian High Court case led by Aboriginal activist Eddie Mabo, which was one of the first steps towards native title entitlements for indigenous Australians.


A debilitating disease spread by mosquitoes. Especially common in tropical regions.


The ability to be shaped without cracking or breaking. From the Latin word 'malleus' meaning 'hammer'.


The hot molten layers of Earth's core.

Maritime Workers' Dispute

In August 1890, a union struggle over better pay and working conditions brought Melbourne to a standstill when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate.


Stranded on a deserted island, often as a form of punishment.


A mason was originally a worker who builds in brick or stone. More recently a 'mason' can also refer to a member of a Masonic Lodge.


Having the qualities of medicine. A substance that promises to improve ones health.

Melbourne Lodge of the Operative Masons

A 19th century Melbourne organisation of masons. As well as promoting workers? rights and being an early prototype of the union movement, Masonic lodges were also secret societies with restricted membership.

Midget Submarine

Small submarines with a two man crew (and two torpedoes) launched from a larger mother submarine.

Military tribunal

A military court operating outside the general legal system


Spans of 1000 years (plural of 'millennium'). 

Mission reserves

A number of Victorian missions, reserves and stations were set up in the late 19th century by the Aboriginal Welfare Board to house indigenous people on segregated areas of land.

Mixed descent

Another term for half-caste aboriginals or others of mixed races.


A name that a person is known by; a nickname.


A sad poem about someone who has died

Mother lode

A large mass of underground gold in a region, usually undiscovered. 


A distinctive image, idea or passage of music.


The curved board or metal plate in a farmer’s plough that turns piles of dirt out of the ground.


Murris are a group of Aboriginal people from northern NSW and Queensland. The term is sometimes used to descibe Aboriginals in general in some parts of Australia.


Shared stories that support the beliefs of the population.


A highly infectious viral disease deliberately introduced into Australia to control the rabbit population.