One Day Hill Publishers Australia, 2014
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1428, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK012
EYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1428, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK012, ACHASSK013, ACHASSK015, ACHASSK016, ACPPS004, ACPPS005, ACPPS006, ACPPS007, ACELA1453, ACELT1582, ACELT1584, ACHASSK030, ACHASSK033, ACPPS0015, ACPPS0017, ACPPS0019, ACPPS0020, ACPPS0023, ACPPS0024, ACELA1462, ACELT1587, ACELT1589, ACELT1591, ACELT1593, ACHASSK044, ACHASSK045, ACHASSK046, ACHASSK049, ACHASSK050, ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACHASSK062, ACHASSK063, ACHASSK066, ACHASSK069, ACPPS033, ACPPS037, ACPPS038, ACPPS041, ACPPS042, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACHASSK088, ACHASSK089, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACELT1612, ACHASSK110, ACHASSK112, ACHASSK113, ACPPS051, ACPPS056, ACPPS057, ACPPS059, ACPPS060, ACELA1515, ACELA1518, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACHASSK135, ACHASSK137, ACHASSK140
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- Cultural heroes
- Jardwadjali people (S27) (Vic SJ54-03)
- Social life and customs
The name Johnny Mullagh is largely unknown to Australians. He should be known however as he is one of Australia’s true sporting heroes. The author uses a narrative nonfiction first person style to present this largely unknown story, which is complemented by colourful illustrations that reflect the historical setting.
Johnny Mullagh’s real name was ‘Unaarrimin’ and he belonged to the Jardwadjali people whose Country was near Harrow in the Western district of Victoria. His nickname ‘Johnny Mullagh’ relates to Mullagh Station where he worked. In 1865, Johnny was introduced to cricket at a game on a nearby Pine Hill station and immediately his prodigious talent for the game was obvious. Everyone present was amazed at his batting as he seemed able to ‘read’ the ball. His bowling was equally impressive – straight and accurate.
In 1866, Johnny took part in what was probably the very first Boxing Day match in a game between an Aboriginal team and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) at the then Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). This match was the catalyst for the 1868 tour by an Aboriginal Cricket team to England, some eleven years prior to the start of Test Cricket as we know it.
The English crowds loved the Aboriginal team’s cricket skills and Johnny Mullagh was the star of the show. He was a brilliant all-rounder able to bat, bowl and keep wicket. He finished the tour with the remarkable statistics of 1698 runs at 23.65 and taking 245 wickets at 10.
Although Johnny went on to play professionally for the MCC he only lasted one season returning to Harrow where he continued to play cricket until the end of his life in 1891. He was a man caught between two worlds and faced racism and discrimination throughout his life. He refused to live on a mission and throughout his life was a strong advocate for Aboriginal rights.
It is only in recent years that Johnny Mullagh’s cricketing prowess has been recognised. In 2020 he was finally inducted into Australia’s Cricket Hall of Fame and from 2020, the Player of the Match at the traditional MCG Boxing Day Test match will be awarded ‘The Johnny Mullagh Medal’.
- Neridah McMullin website ‘Knockabout Cricket’ includes a range of teaching resources https://neridahmcmullin.com/book/knockabout-cricket/
- Scholastic Australia Teacher Notes for ‘Knockabout Cricket’ by Neridah McMullin https://resource.scholastic.com.au/resourcefiles/8347041_25972.pdf
- The Guardian 27 Dec 2019 Geoffrey Atherden 'Johnny Mullagh was one of Australia’s first cricketing heroes: His story deserves wider recognition’ https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/dec/27/johnny-mullagh-was-one-of-australias-first-cricketing-heroes-his-story-deserves-wider-recognition
- City of Canada Bay Heritage Association ‘Johnny Mullagh - World Famous Cricketer’ https://canadabayheritage.asn.au/johnny-mullagh-world-famous-cricketer/
- ABC News 'First XI: Is this the single most important cricket team in Australian history? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-15/first-xi-aboriginal-cricket-team-tour-of-england-150-years-on/9547492
- Deadly Story Aboriginal Cricket https://www.deadlystory.com/page/culture/articles/Aboriginal_Cricket
- Australian History Mysteries 'In the footsteps of the 1868 Aboriginal Cricket Team' https://www.australianhistorymysteries.info/in-the-footsteps-of-the-1868-aboriginal-cricket-team/