The Borough of Queenscliffe is hosting a special Mullagh Wills Foundation ‘Reconciliation through Sport’ event to commemorate the town’s connection to the Aboriginal Cricket Team that played in England in 1868, becoming Australia’s first international sporting team.
The event is being held on Saturday February 29 prior to the Queenscliff v Anglesea cricket match being played at Queenscliff Recreation Oval.
Council representatives will be joined by State and Federal Government representatives, Indigenous Elders, the cricket teams and officials, members of the Mullagh Wills Committee and other special guests to commemorate the Aboriginal Cricket Team leaving Victoria from Queenscliff in November 1867 to travel to England via Sydney.
The winner of the two-day match will be presented with the Mullagh Wills Trophy at the conclusion of the match on Saturday March 7.
As part of these celebrations, the commemorative Message Book has been on display in the Queenscliff Library during February and the Council will include a message in the book. Primary Schools in the Borough will also include a message in the book as part of the Queenscliff celebrations.
The Journey leaves from Queenscliff in 1867
The Aboriginal Cricket Team left from Queenscliff in October 1867 for the 1868 tour of England. The Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines in Victoria refused permission for the Aboriginal Cricket Team to leave Victoria, so the team travelled from Geelong, where they had played a match, on the pretense to be going for a day’s fishing. At the Heads off Queenscliff they boarded ‘Rangatira’ bound for Sydney before then travelling to England. The team played several games in Sydney and regions of NSW before boarding the ‘Paramatta’ on February 8, 1868, arriving in England more than 8 weeks later on May 13.