Tom Wills grew up in Western Victoria in the 1840's, where his childhood friends were local aborigines. He played their games and learnt their language. Sent to an exclusive English school, where he made a name for himself playing cricket for Cambridge, he returned in 1856 with a rallying cry that revolutionised sport in Australia: 'Let's have a game of our own!' It was Tom Wills who opened the door to an indigenous code of football with its own rules, humour and history. Sport became Australia's second language. His crowded life found him in the middle of a land war, surviving a massacre of his family and coaching an Aboriginal cricket team for Australia' s first tour of England. Snubbed by the big end of town, this driven and passionate man was dead at 44. What killed Tom Wills? The answers add a revealing chapter to our hidden history. Don Watson said that Martin Flanagan could describe a heart-beat and this spirited collaboration (with Bruce Myles) fulfils that promise. (1 Act, 3 male, 2 female).
Martin Flanagan; Adapted by Bruce Myles