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

Mullagh Wills Match Day

Moyston, the childhood home of Tom Wills, hosted the Mullagh Wills Match Day between Moyston Willaura and Hawkesdale Macarthur on Saturday June 18.

All netball and football teams were involved in the day with the winning club, Hawkesdale Macarthur, decided on the most wins from all matches played on the day. The senior netball and senior football teams lined up prior to their respective matches to honour Tom Wills and commemorate the Journey to the G project and the Mullagh Wills Trophy was presented by Jane Nathan, Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation on the football ground at the conclusion of the senior match.

The Moyston Willaura Football Netball Club hosted the day and included a special message of support in the commemorative Message Book and involved the Hawkesdale Macarthur Club with the signing of a commemorative cricket bat by the Club Presidents, together with the coaches and captains of the senior football and netball teams.

The Mullagh Wills Foundation thanks the Carlton Football Club, Melbourne Vixens and Cricket Victoria for the support provide for this special day at Moyston.

The Launch

The launch of the Journey to the G was held in conjunction with the annual Johnny Mullagh Cricket Match in Harrow on Sunday March 13, 2016.

The launch was attended by Hon Dan Tehan, Member for Wannon and Emma Kealy MP, Member for Lowan, together with Councillors from five municipalities.

Jimmy Tarpot Cup

The Apsley Racing Club hosts the Message Book as the Apsley community celebrate Jimmy Tarpot at the 2016 Apsley Cup.

On Sunday June 12 the Apsley Racing Club hosted the Jimmy Tarpot Cup, a 100 yards backwards race held down the main straight of the racetrack prior to the running of the 161st Apsley Cup. The West Wimmera Shire, the home of the launch of the Journey to the G, sponsored the Jimmy Tarpot Cup as part of their ongoing support to the 1866 and 1868 Aboriginal Cricket Teams.

Australia’s only female race caller, Victoria Shaw called the Jimmy Tarpot Cup which was won by local footballer Dale Smith in a time of 15:01 seconds, 1:01 seconds outside the time set by Jimmy Tarpot at the MCG 150 years earlier. Each of the five finalists signed the Message Book as part of the celebrations of the achievement of Jimmy Tarpot 150 years earlier.

Jimmy Tarpot
Jimmy Tarpot was part of the Aboriginal Cricket Team that played against the Melbourne Cricket Club at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866. On December 28 the Aboriginal team conducted a sports day at the MCG with a highlight being Jimmy Tarpot running 100 yards backwards in 14 seconds.

Jimmy (born Murrumgunerrimin) missed the Aboriginal Cricket Team’s tour of England in 1868 due to injury. He returned to Apsley and became a highly respected wool classer in the district

Ararat Rural City

The Message Book was today delivered from the Southern Grampians Shire to the Ararat Rural City Council. The Book was presented to Mayor Cr Paul Hopper during the Council briefing prior to the Council meeting at the historic Ararat Shire Hall.

The Message Book will remain with the Ararat Rural City Council until late June and activities during the month will include the “Mullagh Wills Match Day” at the Moyston/Willaura Football Netball Club v Hawkesdale/Macarthur Football Netball Club at Moyston on Saturday June 18.

View full article in Ararat Advertiser. 

Southern Grampians Shire

The Message Book is presented to the Southern Grampians Shire Council in Hamilton and will be displayed in the Hamilton Gallery alongside the original scorebook from the Aboriginal Cricket Team Tour of England in 1868.

West Wimmera Shire

West Wimmera Shire Council includes official message in the Message Book at the Council’s official monthly meeting in Edenhope.