Report by J A M Cahey, 30 December 1958

Narional Archives of Australia Canberra Office A6456 R145/030 Personnel Aborigines - Safety Surveys Report by J A M Cahey, 30 December 1958 30 December 1958 Acting Range Commander MARSU Subject Mission Natives - Walkabout I have to submit hereunder a copy of a report submitted by Peace Officer First Class T Murray regarding three full blood Aborigines whom he contacted at Ooldea on 29th December 'As briefed by Sub-Inspector I proceeded to Ooldea on 29.12.1958 and interviewed three Mission Natives who advised me they had paid their railway fares and had travelled as passengers on a 2nd Class carriage per Fast Goods train from ZANTHUS MISSION Station, WA, arriving at Ooldea mid-day Sunday 28th December and were going to YALATA MISSION tomorrow.' 'The names given were 'Paddy', a middle aged native, 'Jacky', about 25 years, and a youth named 'Davey' about sixteen years of age' 'They had been attending a 'singing' (not initiation) Corroboree held at the ceremonial grounds, which are in the Zanthus area. They stated, another party would be returning by Fast Goods train arriving at Ooldea next Sunday, 3rd January 1959.' ''Paddy' also stated that natives from the Ernabella and Warburton Missions had also attended the Corroboree and were walking North from Zanthus on the return trip to their respective Missions.' 'As near as I could ascertain this North bound party would keep to the 'rock country' which could carry rock-hole water, and runs some miles West of Lake Maurice. To my question ' How many walk- about?' 'Paddy' replied: 'Maybe two hundred.' This reply was checked by asking 'Paddy' 'How many sheep Yalata Station carry?'. He replied: 'Maybe 500'. (The carrying capacity of this station is something like 6000 head, which means that the figures given by 'Paddy' cannot be relied on.)' 'When I discovered the camp about daybreak, the boys were sitting up in their blankets which were placed in a triangular way to give each a share of the fire. They appeared surprised at my arrival but were co-operative, appeared to be in good health, and were well cared for. They were carrying a good supply of food, were well dressed and had a couple of blankets each. They showed appreciation when I suggested they have a ride in motor and meet Mission truck from Yalata. I then transported them with their bundles (the youth had been supplied with a suitcase for 'Walkabout' by the Mission at Zanthus) to the BROOM TANKS which had a good supply of water.' 'It was evident that the natives have been well warned by the Missions regarding entering the Maralinga area.' 'Signed T Murray PO1' 2. In view of the foregoing and the fact that PO1 Murray is satisfied the natives have been warned regarding this area it is suggested that no action be taken regarding the party due to arrive on Sunday 3rd. I will instruct the Peace Officer on duty at Watson to check the party and ensure none de-train at Watson. Should the Railways Ganger request a message to be sent to Pastor Temmey that may be done from here after a check is made with Watson Control Centre. J A M Cahey Sub-Inspector Officer in Charge