Trackers were placed at the Mudgee Police Station for almost a century. George Miranda was part of the team who captured Foley, one of the robbers of the Mudgee mail in October 1863. A newspaper report indicates that he shared in the reward of £500 [ref]Sydney Morning Herald 24 October 1863.[/ref]. Many of the early trackers are known only by their first name and little is known about their lives. Tommy, for example, was the tracker from 1888-1892. He previously worked at Cassilis. Once at Mudgee, patrols sometimes took him as far as Coolah [ref]Cassilis Police Diary of Duty and Occurrences SRNSW 7/2654.[/ref]. Nothing more is known about his life. The tracker shown in the photograph from the late 1800s is unnamed.
A prominent tracker who worked at Mudgee in the late-19th and early-20th centuries was James Gillis McDonald. His most famous case was the pursuit of Jimmy and Joe Governor in 1900. Jimmy Governor fired a bullet at James which ricocheted off his saddle. During the pursuit, Aboriginal residents of Wollar, including members of the Governor family, were brought into Mudgee. Some of the men were kept in the lock-up before being transferred to Brewarrina Aboriginal Station.
Trackers continued to be employed at Mudgee into the middle decades of the 20th century. They included Darcy Peckham [ref]SRNSW Police Service Register for Darcy Macquarie Peckham.[/ref] (a former student of Alex Riley), Robert Robinson [ref]SRNSW Police Service Register for Robert Henry Robinson.[/ref] (1949-1950) and Raymond Perry [ref]Mudgee Guardian 14 March 1989.[/ref] (1950-1959).
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...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 ►
Pathfinders book Pathfinders, A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW, written by Dr Michael Bennett and published by NewSouth, is now available from all good bookstores. Click on the link below to order your copy. https://www.abbeys.com.au/book/pathfinders-a-history-of-aboriginal-trackers-in-nsw.do Early History Since the beginning of the colony, government agencies, explorers, surveyors and members of the general public called upon the tracking...Learn More ►