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Obley Police Station View the Map

The police station at Obley, a rough bush structure, was first built in 1866 and staffed by two mounted constables and an unnamed tracker [ref]Medley, Coleen:  Obley on the Little River.[/ref]. In December, the tracker successfully pursued James Auberry who was wanted for stealing sheep and fleeces from a number of local properties including Balderogery, Rocky Ponds and Yullundry [ref]NSW Police Gazette 27 December 1882: 508.[/ref]. At least two trackers were employed in the 1880s, John and Dan, but nothing more is known about their identities or the cases they worked on [ref]Police Salary Registers 1883-1888, SRNSW Box 11/16335 Reel 1970.[/ref]. A well-known tracker who is associated with the area is Michael Mickey.  Born at Bulgandramine in about 1851, he worked at Dubbo as a tracker, saving at least one child who was lost in the bush [ref]North Western Courier 8 October 1925: 1.[/ref]. He also worked as a dog trapper on properties in the Obley and Yeoval districts [ref]Recollections of Sid Hunt, Obley Folder, Yeoval Museum.[/ref]. At least five of his seven children were born at Obley in the 1870s, so it is possible that he worked as the tracker there too.

The police station shown in the photograph was constructed in 1891 and is now a private residence [ref]Medley, Coleen:  Obley on the Little River.[/ref].

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...

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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

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...

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