Pathfinders NSW — A History of NSW Aboriginal Trackers is a project by Dr Michael Bennett, Historian at NTSCORP. It is based on research conducted for a project funded by the Heritage Office of NSW (now incorporated within the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage). The website explores the history of Aboriginal trackers who worked for the current NSW Police Force between 1863 and 1972.
For more information or to get in touch please use the form on our Contact page. The website was launched by former NSW Police Commissioner Scipione in November 2016.
Please note that the website features images of deceased Aboriginal people.
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...Learn More ►
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...Learn More ►
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 ►