Member Statement: Oddball

Maremma dogs Tula and Eudy who protect the Little Penguin population on Warrnambools middle island.

Maremma dogs Tula and Eudy which help guard the Little Penguin population on Warrnambool's Middle Island. Image Warrnambool City Council (Flickr Creative Commons)


I am pleased to rise today to congratulate members of the Middle Island Maremma Project and the maker, cast and crew of the movie Oddball. The movie has taken it’s place among Australia’s top grossing movies and is close to breaking $10 million at the box office.

For those who are yet to see the movie it is based on the true story of a Warrnambool groups efforts to use the Italian bred Maremma dogs to protect the colony of little penguins on Middle Island which had been decimated by foxes.

The colony was down to under 10 penguins when local chook farmer and current political candidate Swampy Marsh and friends approached Warrnambool Council with a wild scheme to use his Maremma dogs to protect the penguins. The colony is now thriving and it’s estimated 180 Little Penguins are returning to Middle Island each breeding season.

Oddball’s makers are now taking the movie overseas, with a dubbed version of the movie opening in Italy later this month. I wish them all the best.