Ballan takes the honours

The Ballan Cricket Club won the Mullagh Wills Trophy and the bragging rights over Buninyong in a tight match at Ballan Recreation Reserve on Saturday. The game was decided in the final over before tea on the second day when Ballan hit the winning runs with one wicket in hand.

The two clubs were keen to support the Mullagh Wills Foundation Journey to the G project and to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Cricket Team journey to Melbourne to play against the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1866.

Michael Flynn, the Executive Officer from Sports Central in Ballarat and a member of the Buninyong Cricket Club, initiated the match and said it was important for all Australians to have an understanding of this incredible event in our history.

“This is an amazing story and while it is about cricket it is so much more than that, it provides a wonderful example of people working together and giving everyone an opportunity. We congratulate the Mullagh Wills Foundation on the initiative to commemorate the 1866 Boxing Day match and to involve the communities that played a part in the journey 150 years ago.

“Both clubs are pleased to have had the opportunity to support the Journey to the G and hope we have been able to further promote the story to ensure more and more people are aware of this incredible event.”

Jane Nathan, Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation, presented the Mullagh Wills Trophy to the Ballan captain, Mick Nolan. Mick and his Buninyong counterpart, Dan Kitchen present Jane with club caps embroidered with the Mullagh Wills Foundation match details and confirmed both Clubs are now looking at making this match an annual event.

Players of both teams signed the Message Book and included a message of support.

 

Community Day in Melton

The Kirrip Aboriginal Community and the City of Melton hosted a Journey to the G Community Day at the Kirrip Aboriginal Community House in Melton today. The community event was organised to celebrate the Aboriginal Cricket Team of 1866 while the Journey to the G Message Book is in the Melton community.

Ron Marks, a Cultural Educator from the Barengi Gadjin Land Council provided an entertaining and informative presentation on members of the famous Aboriginal Cricket team. Not surprisingly Ron is a keen cricketer as he is a descendent of a member of the Aboriginal Cricket Team of the 1860s, King Richard or Dick-a-Dick (Traditional Name Djungadjinganook).

Ron told how King Richard threw a cricket ball over 100 yards during the tour of England in 1868 and the only person to match that distance was the great W C Grace who went on to become one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

He also said King Richard was renowned for his skill using the waddy, a traditional Aboriginal weapon. During the tour of England King Richard would challenge men, up to four at a time, to throw cricket balls at him from 15 paces away while he used a waddy and a shield to protect himself. It is reported he was only hit once but he claims he was not ready at the time.

kirrip-journey-to-g-b

Other special guests included the Mayor of the City of Melton, Cr Sophie Ramsey and the Deputy Mayor Cr Bob Turner. Jane Nathan, Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation, provided guests with an overview of the Journey to the G project and thanked the local community for their wonderful support in celebrating the incredible achievements of the Aboriginal Cricket Team in 1866 and in doing so helping to build the awareness of this remarkable story involving all members of the community 150 years ago.

The community event was completed with the raising of the Aboriginal flag on the newly erected flag pole in front of Kirrip Aboriginal Community House.

The Message Book will remain in the City of Melton until the Council Meeting on Monday November 21st. During this time it will be on display in the City of Melton offices.

Mullagh Wills Match

Ballarat Cricket Association clubs, Buninyong and Ballan recognised the Mullagh Wills Foundation’s Journey to the G on the first day of their two-day round 3 match  at Ballan Recreation Reserve today.

Michael Flynn, the Executive Officer from Sports Central in Ballarat and a member of the Buninyong Cricket Club, initiated the match with the support of the Ballan Cricket Club and the Ballarat Cricket Association to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Cricket Team journey to Melbourne to play against the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1866.

Players from both teams lined up prior to the start of play, together with the umpire, to hear about the 1866 Aboriginal Cricket Team and what the Journey to the G is commemorating. Team captains then presented the Mullagh Wills Foundation with a club cap to commemorate the occasion and the players and club members included messages of support in the commemorative Message Book which is currently in the Moorabool Shire.

The Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation will present the trophy to the winning side at the conclusion of the match on Saturday 12th November.

Moorabool the new host

The Mayor of the City of Ballarat handed the commemorative Message Book to the Moorabool Council at the Ballarat Town Hall earlier today. Moorabool becomes the eighth regional council to accept the Message Book on the journey from Harrow in Western Victoria to the MCG in December.

The Message Book is currently on display in the Moorabool Council offices in Ballan and will also be on display in the Bacchus Marsh library before moving to Melton City Council in November.

A cricket match between Ballan and Buninyong will be played for the Mullagh Wills trophy in early November as part of the celebrations of the Journey to G Message Book being in the Moorabool Council.

 

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.

 

Golden Plains Welcome

The Golden Plains Council held a special ceremony in Linton to welcome the commemorative Message Book to the Shire. The feature of the ceremony was the ‘Welcome to Country’ by Wadawurrung representative Deanne Gilson, the daughter of renowned Aboriginal artist, Aunty Marlene Gilson from Ballarat.

Councillors, Council staff and community members were on hand for the occasion which saw Golden Plains Mayor, Cr Des Phelan and CEO Rod Nicholls, accept the Message Book on behalf of the community.

The Mayor and CEO had been involved in the State Parliament reception for the Mullagh Wills Foundation in mid-July and have plans to involve a number of community groups to help celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Cricket Team travelling through their Shire.

The Message Book will remain with the Golden Plains Council until it is presented to the City of Ballarat on Wednesday September 14.

 

State Parliament Welcome

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley MP, welcomed the commemorative Message Book to Parliament House in Melbourne today.

Louise hosted an afternoon tea in Parliament House for local Government representatives from regional areas involved in the Journey to the G, together with members of the Mullagh Wills Foundation Committee and special guests.

The Message Book was brought to Melbourne by Jim Nolan, CEO of Pyrenees Council and presented to Louise by Jane Nathan the Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation for the Member for Ripon to include a special message of support. The book will remain in Melbourne until Tuesday when it will be presented to the Golden Plains Shire at a special function prior to the annual Council Meeting.

Cr Des Phelan (Mayor) and Rod Nicholls (CEO) from Golden Plains Council and Andrew Mason (CEO Corangamite Council) joined Jim Nolan from regional municipalities, along with Rob Hyatt from the Koorie Heritage Trust at the special function.

 

Skipton Primary School

The commemorative Message Book was welcomed at the Skipton Primary School earlier today on the last stop in the Corangamite Shire before being presented to the Pyrenees Council as part of the Journey to the G.

Grade 5/6 students were delighted to welcome the book to the school and asked many questions about the book and the 1866 Aboriginal Cricket Team with all being pleased to know the team stayed in their town while travelling to Melbourne 150 years ago. The Skipton Primary School has a very successful cricket program, being a regular finalist in the Cricket Victoria Primary School State Championships. However it was not all about cricket and the Aboriginal Cricket Team with discussions on the important role sport plays in bringing people together.

The young students will provide a special message for the commemorative book as part of their studies about the Aboriginal Cricket Team and the Mullagh Wills Foundation.

 

Pyrenees Council Welcome

 

The Message Book was presented to Pyrenees Council Mayor, Cr Michael O’Connor at a special function prior to the Pyrenees Council meeting in Beaufort today. Councillors were joined by Council CEO Jim Nolan, Council staff and community members at the special afternoon tea function.

The Council confirmed their pleasure in being involved in the Journey to the G and were interested to hear the story behind the Message Book and the Mullagh Wills Foundation. A number of local sporting and community groups will be involved with the Journey to the G and will include messages of support in the commemorative book while it is in the Pyrenees Shire.

The Pyrenees Council will be the keepers of the Message Book until mid-August when it will be presented to the Golden Plains Council.

Skipton Welcome

The Message Book was welcomed to the Corangamite Shire at a special morning tea in Skipton today. Corangamite Council Mayor, Cr Jo Beard accepted the Message Book into the Corangamite Shire and was joined by CEO Andrew Mason, fellow Councillors, Council staff and local community group representatives, including Bryon Powell at the Skipton function.

Prior to the official handing over of the Message Book Wathaurung Elder Bryon Powell spoke about his Great, Great Grandmother who was a member of the Mt Emu Tribe (near Skipton) and his memories as a child in the Skipton area as part of his informative Welcome to Country

The Council chose Skipton as the venue for this important function as the Aboriginal Cricket Team stayed in Skipton on December 20th on their way to Melbourne for the Boxing Day match against the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1866.

Council Community Development Officer Garry Moorfield coordinated the morning tea in conjunction with the Mullagh Wills Foundation and local community groups to commemorate the events of 150 years ago.

View article from the Warrnambool Standard