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Porters (3 articles)

Porters Retreat

Trackers were employed at Porters Retreat (approximately 70km south-south-east of Bathurst) from at least 1903 to 1916 and probably later[ref]SARANSW Police Salary Registers.[/ref]. The settlement was originally known as Glencoe and changed its name in about 1908 to Porters Retreat. As can be seen in the accompanying plan, by 1914 the tracker was living in a hut adjacent to the...

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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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Harry Doolan

Harry Doolan, a Gamilaraay man, was born at Pilliga in 1855 to Bob Doolan and Tincan [ref]DC of Harry Doolan 1917/012607.[/ref]. He began tracking at Wee Waa in April 1891 where he remained for the next two years.  His next tracking assignment was at Baradine for the first three months of 1898.  He was also the tracker at Cumnock 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)...

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