Cobbora is located on the Talbragar River about 80km east of Dubbo. Once a thriving agricultural and mining community, a police station was established in the town in the late 19th century. Trackers were employed at Cobbora from 1885 to 1896 including Tommy (1885-1894), Charley (1895-1896) and James Gillis McDonald (who tracked Jimmy and Joe Governor). Now privately owned, the station included a magistrate’s residence and a small lock-up. Horses were kept in the wooden stables out the back. Trackers may have lived in the stables or in the adjacent police paddock.
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 ►