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Dubbo (15 articles)

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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Byrock Police Station

Trackers were employed at Byrock Police Station from 1884 to at least 1938.  The career of the first Byrock tracker, Jack Todhunter, was tragically short.  He contracted typhoid fever two months after starting the job.  He was transferred to Dubbo Hospital when his condition deteriorated and he passed away there on 10 March 1885.  Little is known about Todhunter.  He...

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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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Tommy Pearce

Working at Mount McDonald from June 1882 until the end of 1884, Tommy Pearce’s career is unusual in that it provides evidence that trackers sometime took a holiday.  On Friday 27 April 1883, he passed through Carcoar “en route” to Dubbo for a “leave of absence”.  The purpose of his trip or why the destination was Dubbo – perhaps he...

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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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Billy Dargin

Billy Dargin was born on the Bogan River in about 1843.  Nothing is known about his parents, but it was recorded at the time of his death in 1865 that he obtained his surname through working for Peter Dargin, a squatter who owned land in the Bathurst district and further west.  Dargin is common Aboriginal surname from the Bogan River...

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Jimmy Nerang

James Nerang, or Jimmy as he was often known, worked as a tracker in the central-west of NSW around the turn of the 20th century.  He took a prominent part in tracking Jimmy and Joe Governor after the massacre at Breelong in 1900.  He was stationed at Dubbo in January 1902 when he gave evidence identifying Charles Ryan, an Aboriginal...

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Molong Police Station

Molong Police Station The only recorded tracker at Molong was Tommy who worked from 1883 to 1886. Nothing more about his life is currently known and trackers were not stationed at Molong after he left.  A 20th century tracker with a link to Molong was Robert Henry Robinson who worked at Coonamble and Dubbo.  His grandmother was Kitty Hanley, who,...

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Dandaloo Police Station

A single mounted policeman was first stationed at Dandaloo on the Bogan River in May 1871, rising to two early in the New Year.  Trackers were employed from 1875 and through to 1909.  Paddy was a well-traveled tracker who worked at Dubbo and Dandaloo in these early years.  Prior to his employment he had been arrested and tried in October...

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Parkes Police Station

Trackers were employed at Parkes from as early as 1875 when two were sent to a nearby property to search for a lost boy.  They returned five days later without success [ref]Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser 2 October 1875: 425.[/ref]. The names of the trackers who worked from 1883 to 1886 are known.  Alfred was the tracker in...

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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