A civic reception was held at the Brimbank City Council Civic Centre to welcome the Message Book to the City of Brimbank on November 22nd.
A traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country was presented by Auntie Joy Murphy, a senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance in Victoria. This was held outside the Civic Centre in Sunshine prior to the reception inside.
Brimbank City Council Mayor Cr John Hedditch spoke of the City’s delight at being involved in the Journey to the G project and of the acknowledgement from local cricket clubs in the region at the previous weekend’s matches which included markings on the ground to celebrate the “Reconciliation Round”.
City of Melton Mayor, Cr Sophie Ramsey, attended the reception to officially ‘handover’ the Message Book to Cr Hedditch and messages of support which will be included in the commemorative book were read out to guests. This included a message from Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, State Minister for Local Government, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Industrial Relations (signed as Natalie Hutchins MP & Cricket Mum).
Mullagh Wills Foundation Chair addressed the reception guests outlining the incredible story of the Aboriginal Cricket Team of 1866 and the wonderful community support the Journey to the G had received and how positive the message of reconciliation has been along the journey.
The newly elected councillors of the Brimbank City Council held their first meeting following the reception and this included a report on the Mullagh Wills Foundation Journey to the G project and the reading of the official message from the City to be included in the commemorative Message Book.
The Brimbank City Council, in recognition of its commitment to Reconciliation, acknowledges and commends the Mullagh Wills Foundation ‘Reconciliation Through Sport’ initiative which recognises and celebrates the Aboriginal Cricket Team of the late 1860s.
A Selection of messages from the community:
Aboriginal Culture and Heritage is an important part of modern Victoria. We have so much to learn, so much to respect. It is time to recognise it is time for Aboriginal self-determination and Treaty. Natalie Hutchins MP & Cricket mum.
We respect all communities and through sports are bound together as a multi-cultural community. Suni Phillips, Brimbank Strikers
Sunshine Heights Cricket Club congratulates the Brimbank City Council on endorsing this important celebration of the Mullagh Wills match at the MCG 150 years ago.
The Sunshine United Cricket Club would like to express how humbling it was for us to participate in the celebration of the 150-year anniversary of the historic Australian Cricket team. This event provided a wonderful opportunity to bring people together, breakdown barriers and promote the message or reconciliation and understanding.
On behalf of the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association we would like to acknowledge and strongly endorse the initiative of the Mullagh Wills foundation in remembering and honouring the first truly Australian international cricket team. We acknowledge this initiative will only support and encourage reconciliation through sport. Well done to all involved in the Mullagh Wills foundation.