Trackers were employed at Walgett for over 100 years. One of the earliest trackers was Jackey Bundah who in 1877 pursued and captured his brother-in-law Charley Combo. He was severely beaten by other local Aboriginal men for his breach of customary law. There were many other trackers with traditional ties to the district including Tom Hickey (born Walgett 1878) who was the tracker in 1907 and 1908.
The name of the tracker in the photograph is unknown. It was taken in the 1890s and may be a tracker named Jimmy (or Jemmy) who was employed at this time. The original is held at the Walgett Police Station.
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 ►