In May 2015 Michael Bennett, historian for the Native Title Service Corporation, recorded material for the RAHS YouTube channel about his work on bringing together his research on Aboriginal Trackers in New South Wales.
You can now access Michael’s research on ‘The Pathfinders – the History of NSW Aboriginal Trackers’, which was launched in November by the Police Commissioner, Mr Scipione. The website provides an overview of the history of trackers from 1862 when the current NSW Police Force was established, through to 1973 when the last tracker, Norman Walford, retired. There is also a timeline and information on the lives of individual trackers, including details on the police stations where they worked and lived, as well as the traditional language groups to which some of the trackers belonged.
Michael explains how “a good tracker could pick up the smallest change in the landscape and quickly work out in which direction a person or animal was moving. Although trackers are no longer employed by the police, the skills and knowledge are still retained by many Aboriginal people throughout NSW.”
Click here to go to the website: http://pathfindersnsw.org.au/
Click here to view Aboriginal Trackers in New South Wales by Michael Bennett on RAHS YouTube – part of the 2015 RAHS project Beyond the Blue Mountains: Following the Road from Bathurst.