The Mullagh Wills Foundation commemorative Message Book and a traditional Aboriginal Message Stick are on display in the Australian High Commission in London as part of the 150th celebrations of the 1868 Aboriginal Cricket Team tour of England.
The Message Book was taken to England by the 2018 National Indigenous teams and was signed by the Australian teams and the Surrey cricket teams during the match at The Oval in early June before being presented to the Australian High Commission.
The Message Stick was made by Aboriginal Elder, Richard Kennedy, who has assisted the Mullagh Wills Foundation over the last few years, and its journey to England was an example of the community support for the Foundation and our ideals.
With little time to get the Message Stick to London, Melbourne radio station 3AW put the call out for volunteers who may be able to assist. One of the people who contacted 3AW was Markus from Mount Egerton near Ballarat. This led to a meeting with Richard Kennedy from Ballarat and the Mullagh Wills Foundation and then the Message Stick was on the way to London.
A handover at the London Underground to Matt Gurry who has been assisting the Foundation in England, ensured the Message Stick would be ready for presentation to the High Commission.
On Tuesday June 26th the Message Book and Message Stick were presented to Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner in London, Matt Anderson by Jane Nathan, Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation, (who was in Europe and made the trip to London to represent the Mullagh Wills Foundation), together with Matt Gurry. Members from the Melbourne Cricket Club were also in attendance at this meeting at the Australian High Commission.
The Message Stick will remain with the High Commission while the commemorative Message Book will be on display until October when it will be returned to Australia.