Cooley delivers second Mullagh-Wills Oration | Cricket Australia

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Cooley delivers second Mullagh-Wills Oration

November 11, 2018

Peter Cooley delivered the Mullagh-Wills Oration //


On Saturday 10 November, the CitiPower Centre played host to the second Mullagh-Wills Oration.

The oration is part of Australian cricket’s ongoing commitment to honouring the Aboriginal XI involved in the 1866 Boxing Day Cricket Match and the Aboriginal XI who became the first Australian sporting team to tour internationally in 1868.

The event is named in honour of Tom Wills, who captain-coached the Aboriginal XI in 1866 ,and Johnny Mullagh, the side’s star all-rounder who later went on to captain the Aboriginal XI to tour England in 1868.  

In 2016 at the inaugural event, we heard from Dr Greg de Moore an Associate Professor of Psychiatry based at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital and author of Tom Wills – First Wild Man of Australian Sport and former Australian of the Year Professor Mick Dodson AM.

The pair delivered an incredible summary of the connection between historical events and the present, between cricket and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

At the 2018 event,Peter Cooley delivered the oration aimed at celebrating and reflecting on the recent 1868 commemoration tour to the UK and to discuss the importance of continuing to recognise the achievements of that pioneering team.  

Peter grew up in the southern Sydney suburb of La Perouse and is a founding member of First Hand Solutions.  

First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation is a small charity that specialises in finding hands on solutions to issues faced by Aboriginal people, families and communities and particularly young Aboriginal people.  

Peter spent 20 years as a Diesel Mechanic as well as 10 years volunteering his time in his community running programs.

He started his award winning company Koori Communications & Training in 2005 running cultural programs for Aboriginal people and families throughout NSW and Queensland.

Peter has spoken at a number of international conferences and been the recipient of a number of signicant awards for his work in Aboriginal communities.

He recieved a Future Summit leadership award in 2007 and the inaugural Premiers Excellence award in 2009 for aboriginal education and graduated from a post-graduate course in Social Impact from the School for Social Impact from the University of NSW in 2015.  

Critical to this oration, Peter has a long history with Indigenous cricket and recently toured the UK on the 1868 commemoration tour with the women’s and men’s Indigenous squads. His role on tour was official mentor.