Narional Archives of Australia
Correspondence, R Durance, 4 December 1961
4 December 1961
Commissioner of Native Welfare,
Department of Native Welfare,
176 Wellington Street,
Mr W B MacDougall, Native Patrol Officer, passed the
following information by radio from Giles on 27th November,
1961. It refers to the health of the natives in the Rawlinson
Area and to their general physical requirements during the current
severe drought in the Central Reserves.
1. An old woman (Mi:mia) died yesterday. She had been
suffering from a virus (?) affecting some of the Rawlinson natives.
Her body temperature had been 104 degrees. The natives buried her twenty-
five miles from Giles.
2. Mr MacDougall has evacuated a woman and her baby to Warburton
Mission. This woman has a similar condition to the woman who
3. Another old woman at Giles has the virus, but she is responding
to sulpha drugs. Mr MacDougall believes that the virus is losing
its intensity. He comments that the younger people have not been
4. Mr MacDougall also took Old Willie to Warburton. Willie's
legs are almost useless from the knees down, but this appears to be
only a temporary condition.
5. A young woman near Giles is being treated with penicillin
for a swollen jaw. The penecillin and sulpha drug courses have been
prescribed by a Royal Flying Doctor, Alice Springs.
6. Mr MacDougall is treating numerous cases of sore eyes.
Location and Movement of Natives
7. A native family is living at a small rock hole on the Giles
Creek some twenty-five miles from Giles.
8. Another family is living in the sandhills north of Giles,
probably just south of the Sir Frederick Range. Mr MacDougall is
proceeding to that area to check on themm and bring them to the
Rawlinsons if necessary.
9. Several families are endeavouring to walk to Musgrave Park
from the southern side of the Petermanns. Mr MacDougall is not concerned about
them as he reports that good rains have fallen in the Mann Ranges.
10. All other natives in the Rawlinson - Petermann Ranges
are near Giles.
11. There are permanent waters in the ranges.
12. The natives near Giles are being provided with bore water
by Mr MacDougall.
13. Wankari rock hole in the Dean Range is twenty-four feet
below the high water mark. The water in it is unfit for human consumption,
being full of decaying bird and small animal life.
14. The kangaroos in the Rawlinson area are in poor condition
and are becoming increasingly fewer in number. Mr MacDougall has
been shooting them for the main native camp. Shortly he may have
to obtain them from Mt Davies where the kangaroos are numerous and
in good condition.
15. The natives near Giles had a large number of dingo scalps
which Mr MacDougall has traded for 700 - 800 lbs flour and a quantity
of sugar and tea.
16. On the authority of the Native Welfare Department, Head
Office, Perth, Mr MacDougall is issuing supplies of powdered milk
and potatoes to the aged, infirm, pregnant and lactating, and their
17. No additional food supplies are required at present.
18. No assistance is required at present.
19. Mr MacDougall is of the opinion that, failing good rains over the
next two months, the Rawlinson natives may have to be evacuated to
Musgrave Park or Warburton Mission, whichever they prefer. He will
advise further on this possibility late in December after he has completed
20. Mr MacDougall requests advice on the condition of the natives
he took to Warburton.
The above is in confirmation of advice passed by telephone
to Mr Beharrel by Mr Macaulay. Mr Beharrel has undertaken to
forward details of the condition of the natives taken to Warburton.
Superintendent, WRE, Woomera