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Wagga (3 articles)

Tracker Jack Patten

This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the team at Koori History.  See the original article written by John T. Patten at https://koorihistory.com/tracker-patten/   John James Patten, known as Jack Patten, was born in the Snowy Mountains of Victoria at Corryong in 1874. He was the eldest son of John Patten, a man for whom there is...

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Whyman McLean

Whyman McLean, the son of Archibald McLean and an Aboriginal woman known only as Louisa, was born at Morago near the Werai Forest in about 1860.  There were many knowledgeable Aboriginal men in the district and it is likely that Whyman learned tracking skills from them when growing up.[ref]See The Memoirs of H.M. Eastman held by the Central Murray Regional...

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Joseph Bellilla

Following the introduction of legislation in the mid-1870s, Aboriginal people were able to give evidence in NSW courts and trackers, perhaps more than other members of the indigenous community, were called upon to take the stand.  At Tamworth on 14 February 1894, Joseph Bellilla testified at the committal hearing of Patrick Kennedy charged with stealing rations from the dwelling of...

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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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