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Mudgee (5 articles)

Mudgee Police Station

Trackers were placed at the Mudgee Police Station for almost a century.  George Miranda was part of the team who captured Foley, one of the robbers of the Mudgee mail in October 1863.  A newspaper report indicates that he shared in the reward of £500 [ref]Sydney Morning Herald 24 October 1863.[/ref]. Many of the early trackers are known only by...

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Jack Redtank

Jack Redtank, the son of Ngiyampaa speakers Jimmy Keewong and Kitty Narrangie, was recognised as being one of the best trackers in NSW in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His first job aged 16 was at W-Tree Station in 1893 when he found a girl who had been lost in the bush for six days.[ref]Barrier Miner 8 September 1897:...

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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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James Gillis McDonald

James Gillis McDonald was born at Cobborah near the Talbragar River in about 1873 to Thomas McDonald and Eliza McNabb.  He married Harriet Cooper at Mudgee in October 1904 and the couple had at seven children.  His youngest son, Malcolm, later recalled that his father told him about tracking Jimmy and Joe Governor in 1900.  James knew Jimmy and didn’t...

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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)...

Learn More