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Timeline

Launch of the state-wide police service.

The new state-wide police service is launched. The details of each tracker are recorded in the salary register.

Capture of Patsy Daley

Billy Dargin plays a prominent role in the capture of Patsy Daley, a member of Ben Hall’s gang.

Shooting of Ben Hall

Billy Dargin and Charley Edwards are both part of the team that shoots Ben Hall dead near Billabong Creek to the south-west of Parkes. Both trackers are themselves dead before the end of the year.

Capture of the Clarke Brothers

John Watkins (aka Sir Watkin Wynne) is injured in the shootout to the south of Braidwood which leads to the capture of the notorious Clarke Brothers. His arm is later amputated and Watkins no longer works as a tracker.

Tracker Riley

Alec Riley commences work at Dubbo Police Station.

Tracker Riley Retires

Tracker Riley retires after almost 40 years of service.

Norman Walford

Norman Walford, the last officially employed tracker in NSW, retired from the NSW Police on 3 May 19...

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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