About Where There’s A Will
Will is a young man and lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder which means that most of his life he has been faced with significant challenges. In order for Will to participate we have always had to create the opportunity, and for Will, he has always had to rise to those challenges. With Wills tenacity and resilience, his love of life and his passionate love of sport, especially cricket, we started Where There’s A Will.
The idea was to teach Will skills through refurbishing cricket bats. It is now the catalyst for communities to learn how to change the way they see, include and support all people with intellectual and physical challenges.
He has since worked with over 500 artists, collected, refurbished and exhibited 550 cricket bats and has sold close to 500 stunning pieces of art on cricket bats, skateboards, baseball bats and outrigger paddles which range from painted, penciled, carved to amazing pieces that are sublime, beautiful to fanciful. He has worked with Prime Ministers, Archibald winners and finalists, UN Ambassadors, sportsmen and women, musicians, schools and people from all walks of life.
He has held 8 exhibitions including the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral, Brightspace Gallery St Kilda Victoria, Kiama NSW, Timbermill Studios Bulli NSW, Perth in Western Australia, Warooka in the Southern Yorke Peninsula South Australia, Robertson in NSW. and Rainbow in Central Victoria.
Willo has been featured on the ABC 7:30 Report on two occasions, Small Biz Secrets on SBS Australia, Channel 10 Win News and numerous ABC Radio interviews in the Illawarra, Sydney and Perth. He has been interviewed and featured in many local media outlets including Highlife Magazine and live reports at his showings on ABC Illawarra Radio with Nick Rheinberger. A two month long display at the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral and the Bowral Bookstore witnessed people coming from all over Australia to see the bats first hand in their window display.
Neil Kearney and Channel 7 featured the Willo story at the 2020 Australian Test Series in Adelaide January 2020 as well as Sydney in 2021. Simon Bouda presented Willo on A Current Affair in 2020 and recently a Willo bat was presented to the High Commissioner in Australia House, London and the Governor General of Australia.
Not only has Will rallied together a massive community throughout Australia, he has created more awareness about the ability in the disability, the need for communities to come together to integrate and support those living with differences and, he has combined our love of cricket and art into amazing exhibitions.
Willo Cricket Bats are currently selling direct from the International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral NSW and the Robertson Pub in Robertson NSW.
Will has engaged with the local mens shed in Bowral, Robertson and Minlaton and numerous schools to help with the sanding of the bats and to mentor people with intellectual disabilities to increase their skills.
Willo has partnered with numerous disability support providers across Australia to become a place of skill development and mentoring for young people living with intellectual disabilities. Refurbishing, packaging and sourcing the bats as the demand grows for exhibitions around Australia. Willo services are being created in partnership with Yorke Peninsula Leisure Options SA, Woodbine Inc Warracknabeal Victoria and the not for profit “Robertson Community Garden” in Robertson NSW.
Willo has now transitioned from a simple cause to “Where There’s a Will Ltd” a national charity. All funds raised assist in creating more choice and options where there is complete collaboration and responsibility from our communities.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s (ACNC) 2015 Public Trust and Confidence research showed that support of charities is closely entwined with trust. When the ACNC’s role as the charity regulator was explained to research survey respondents, their trust in Australia’s charities grew significantly.
As a result, the ACNC has introduced a charity verification ‘tick’ which shows that an organisation is “transparent and accountable by highlighting their presence on the ACNC Charity Register”.
It is hoped the charity tick will have a positive effect on public trust and confidence in the charity sector, with donors being able to instantly recognise a charity that is well governed, reputable and worthy of public donations registered. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is proud to warrant and display the ‘tick’!
Read more about the ACNC charity tick here