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Coonamble (8 articles)

Alexander Ward

Alexander Ward (also known as Alexander King) was born at Bingebah Station on the western fringe of the Pilliga Scrub on 5 September 1887.  He was the son of William King, an Aboriginal stockman born at Coonamble, and Jane Ward of Windsor in western Sydney.  He married Stella Duncan of Coonamble at Burra Bee Dee Aboriginal Station in July 1916. ...

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Charlie Hammond

Charlie Hammond, son of Charlie Hammond Snr and Maria, was born on Wiradjuri country at Goolagong near Forbes in the 1870s.  He was the tracker at Dubbo in 1902 and 1903.  In May 1903 he helped arrest a man suspected of burning down a shed at Spicer's Creek to the east of Dubbo.  The suspect's boots matched the prints at...

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Dubbo Police Station

In 1862, police from the new amalgamated force were stationed at the new stone Court House and lock-up in Macquarie Street.  A new station and lock-up were constructed in Brisbane Street in the early 1870s.  Police barracks were constructed on Erskine Street in 1877 along with stables and quarters for the tracker.  The police paddock was nearby at the northern...

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A General History

Early History

Since the beginning of the colony, government agencies, explorers, surveyors and members of the general public called upon the tracking abilities of Aboriginal men and women.  First Fleet officers and early land-owners sometimes made use of Aboriginal men to track and capture escaped convicts.  Alexander Berry, for example, relied on an Aboriginal man known as Broughton (or Toodwick)...

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Sam Bell

  Sam Bell was born at Hay in the late 1860s.  Oral history suggests that he survived a massacre at Hay and later moved to Coonamble where he was employed as the tracker in 1889.  Three years later he married Annie Duncan of nearby Bullarora Station.  The couple had eight children, including May Bell who was born at Coonamble in...

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Norman Walford

Norman Walford, the last officially employed tracker in NSW, retired from the NSW Police on 3 May 1973 after a career of 25 years.  He is well-remembered in Walgett today – there is a walkway in his honour along the edge of the Namoi River – and his wife, Mrs Gladys Walford (nee Kennedy) lives in town.  And many Aboriginal...

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Molong Police Station

Molong Police Station An early tracker who worked at Molong was Peter Hogan, an Aboriginal man from the New England district.  Hogan was on patrol with Senior Constable Herbert and Constables Ambrose and Cook near Molong in March 1865 in pursuit of bushrangers.  Hogan and Cook were put in charge of the horses one night after camp was made on...

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Police Stations

There were over 200 NSW police stations that employed Aboriginal trackers between 1862 and 1973.  Many were concentrated in the central-west and north-west of the state, the agricultural and pastoral heartland of NSW.  This is because one of the main jobs of trackers was to pursue sheep, cattle and horse thieves. Trackers sometimes lived in small huts out the back...

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NSW Aboriginal Trackers

This website explores the history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW from 1862 when the current NSW Police Force was established through to 1973 when the last tracker, Norman Walford, retired.  You can read about the lives of individual trackers and some of the incredible tracking feats they performed.  There is also information about the police stations where they worked and...

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Police Stations

There were over 200 NSW police stations that employed Aboriginal trackers between 1862 and 1973.  Many were concentrated in the central-west and north-west of the state, the agricultural and pastoral heartland of NSW.  This is because one of the main jobs of trackers was to pursue sheep, cattle and horse thieves. Trackers sometimes lived in small huts out the back...

Learn More

A General History

Early History Since the beginning of the colony, government agencies, explorers, surveyors and members of the general public called upon the tracking abilities of Aboriginal men and women.  First Fleet officers and early land-owners sometimes made use of Aboriginal men to track and capture escaped convicts.  Alexander Berry, for example, relied on an Aboriginal man known as Broughton (or Toodwick)...

Learn More