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Goodooga (3 articles)

Goodooga Police Station

Goodooga Police Station was established in 1871 as part of the North Western Police district.  Trackers were employed at the station from 1883 to 1914, including George Rose Murray (1883) and Angledool Joe (1883).  The longest serving tracker at Goodooga was George Sharpley who worked from 1884 to 1912.  He sometimes combined ceremonial obligations with tracking work.  After leaving the...

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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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George Sharpley

George Sharpley of Goodooga was born in 1863. The names of his parents are unknown, but it is likely that he had a white father and an Aboriginal mother. His totem was pademelon and he belonged to the Kubbi section. Sharpley was probably an initiated man as he was asked in 1897 to carry a message stick inviting an Aboriginal...

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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...

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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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