City of Ballarat

The Message Book has been welcomed to the City of Ballarat following a reception at the Ballarat Town Hall this week. The Message Book was presented to the Mayor of Ballarat, Cr Des Hudson by the Mayor of Golden Plains, Cr Des Phelan. The Golden Plains Council being the custodians of the Message Book for the last three weeks.

The presentation of the Message Book was part of the Civic Ceremony which included the unveiling of the Ballarat Town Hall Wadawurrung Acknowledgment plaque which was unveiled by the Mayor and Wadawurrung Elder, Aunty Marlene Gilson.

The activities commenced outside where Aunty Marlene’s daughter, Tammy Gilson,  conducted a traditional smoking ceremony before moving into the Ballarat Town Hall where Aunty Marlene honoured the guests with a Welcome to Country.

Before presenting the Message Book to the City of Ballarat, Golden Plains Mayor, Cr Des Phelan, said it had been an honour for the Golden Plains Shire Council to host the Message Book and said as well as the official message from Council, a number of sporting clubs, schools and residents had included messages of support. In handing over the book he acknowledged the importance of this significant event and expressed the Council’s support for reconciliation through sport.

Mayor, Cr Des Hudson was delighted to welcome the Message Book to the City of Ballarat and confirmed it would be on display in the Ballarat Town Hall for the next three weeks. Cr Hudson spoke about the incredible story that is the Aboriginal Cricket Team caught the last train to Melbourne on December 21, 1866 for the Boxing Day match and the team, including Johnny Mullagh and Tom Wills, played against Ballarat in January 1867.

Richard Kennedy, the eldest grandson of two members of the original Aboriginal Cricket Team (Dick-a-Dick and Jim Crow), who honoured guests at the launch in Harrow, Western Victoria, in March was another special guest and he spoke about the history of the Aboriginal Cricket Team and the importance of remembering their incredible achievements so long ago and the role the station holders in the Western District played in teaching the Aboriginals the game of cricket.

The ceremony was completed with a fun session of ‘indoor cricket’ in the Ballarat Town Hall courtesy of Cricket Victoria.