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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Australian Aboriginal Cricketers

1867
Patrick Dawson

albumen silver photograph on original lithograph title sheet (sheet: 56.5 cm x 46.5 cm, image: 35.3 cm x 26.0 cm)

The 1868 Aboriginal cricket team was the first Australian sporting team to tour internationally. Its members – including Unaarrimin, or Johnny Mullagh (1841–1891), Johnny Cuzens (d. 1871), Murrumgunarriman, or Twopenny (c. 1845–1883) and Jungunjinanuke, or Dick-a-Dick (d. 1870) – had learnt cricket while working as stockmen in western Victoria. In late 1866 cricketer Tom Wills (1835–1880) was employed to prepare them for an exhibition match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Wills was replaced as captain-coach in 1867 and Charles Lawrence (1828–1916), a Sydney publican and professional cricketer, found financial backing to take the side to England. They arrived in London in May 1868 and played for a crowd of 20,000 at The Oval before leaving on a six-month tour that typically saw them contest two or three matches a week, their cricketing performances interspersed with displays of spear and boomerang-throwing. The team won fourteen and drew nineteen of the 47 games they played in England. On return, they disbanded.

Patrick Dawson learnt photography while working as a surveyor in Victoria in the 1850s. By 1866 he had studios in Hamilton and Warrnambool and won a medal for the portraits he exhibited in the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition that year. Dawson photographed the cricketers individually in his Warrnambool studio and issued the sixteen portraits in this composite picture.

Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2009

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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