Walter Williams, a Bundjalung man, was born at Bonalbo in the 1890s to Lansbury Williams, a renowned stockman and tracker, and Emily Charles. Lansbury Williams probably spoke the Gidhabal dialect of Bundjalung. Walter was also the great-grandson of King Bobby and Queen Jinny Little who both had strong ties to Yulgilbar Station on the Clarence River. Before taking the job as the tracker at Casino in about 1919, he worked as a bush labourer and horse breaker. On one occasion, he drove 200 horses to Tabulam before breaking them all. He was a master horseman.
Walter took over as the Casino tracker from his father-in-law Denny Joseph. He continued to break horses for the police. His other main jobs as the tracker were to look for people lost in the bush and trailing herds of lost or stolen cattle. His tracking career was sadly cut short in 1930 when he suddenly passed away suffering from pneumonia, a condition he had first suffered from in 1919. He was survived by his wife, Violet Joseph, and four children.[ref]Bundjalung News 01/11/1977; Death Certificate of Walter Williams 1930/005249; Casino and Kyogle Courier and North Coast Advertiser 26 February 1919: 2[/ref]
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 ►