Patrol Report, R Macaulay, December 1959

Narional Archives of Australia Canberra Office A6456 R136/007 Patrol Report, R Macaulay, December 1959 December 1959 The Commissioner of Native Welfare Department of Native Welfare GPO Box R1268 Perth WA Dear Sir October - November Patrol of Central Reserves and Giles Itinerary 1. I left Woomera 9th October and returned 24th November, 1959, covering a distance of 5700 miles during this period. The patrol route was from Woomera to Mt Eba, Coober Pedy, Granite Downs, Everard Park, Kenmore Park, Ernabella Mission, Mulga Park, Mt Davies, Wingellina, Giles, Warburton Mission, Blackstones, Giles, Giles Creek, Kutjinderry (Gill's Pinnacle), Kaltukatjarra (Docker Creek), Tundi (Hull River), Putta Putta (Shaw River), Giles, Ernabella Mission, Kulgera, Alice Springs, (Bungalow, Amoonguna and Warrabri Native Settlements in NT Welfare vehicle), Curtin Springs, Ayers Rock, Mt Olga, Ernabella Mission, Giles, Alice Springs, Granite Downs, Oodnadatta, Coober Pedy, Mt Eba, and Woomera. Movement of Rawlinson Natives 2. The Rawlinson group has returned from Ernabella Mission. Young Willie, Birmunka, Youngi Youngi, their children, and Ininka, Narula, Wanatjura (three big girls) and Louie, are at Curtin Springs waiting for rain before proceeding to the Rawlinsons. Japobe and Toporalana and their families are in transit to the Rawlinsons. 3. All the natives near Giles have moved out in an easterly direction towards Bungobiri, Putta Putta, and Wankari, where, they say, they will hunt dingoes until my return to Giles in mid-January, 1960. Medical Attention 4. On direction from the Flying Doctor, Alice Springs, I admin- istered three injections of penicillin to Kam:i, a native girl aged about 6 years. Kam:i, daughter of Nowina and Malgina, had been treated for a burn on the thigh by Mr T Taylor, Assistant District Officer, Kalgoolie. The wound was in an appalling condition when seen by me. Kam:i was flown to Hospital in Alice Springs on the weekly aircraft to Giles on 28th October. It is expected that she will return by aircraft early January, 1960. 5. Warbri, son of Tjali and Nininka, was treated for a severe mouth infection which cleared up on treatment with gentian violet solution. 6. No sign was seen of Wanupay, wife of Japobe. I looked for her in the Petermanns and at Ayers Rock and Mt Olga. It appears that she was in the area north west of Mt Daisy Bates. Wanupay is actively tubercular and should be sent to Alice Springs Hospital with the minimum of delay. Medical Chest 7. The 1956 Issue Medical Chest, on issue to Native Patrol Officers for the treatment of natives, was in poor order. When last checked by me late in 1958, it was complete and contained such additional items as cough syrup and eye ointment. However, many articles are now missing including a pair of scissors. Both tins of tulle gras, for the treatment of burns, had been opened and a small quantity used from each tin, although it is clearly indicated that one tin must be kept in tact and sterile for emergency use. Steps have been taken to re-stock the chest and it is now located in the office of the Officer i/c Giles, with a request taped to the lid that a more responsible attitude be taken towards the use of the chest in future. Kulate 8. Kulate, the one legged Rawlinson man and his children were left at the Bungalow Native Settlement, Alice Springs, at the request of the District Welfare Officer, Mr W McCoy. Later I was able to deliver his wife to the Bungalow. The whole family will be removed to Areyonga on a supply truck. (The family is Kulate or Gulidinna Miarinna, his wife Toparalana, his son a young man Pijiti, his son about 15 years Tjupandari, his daughter aged about 11 years Tjiyuduna, his son aged about 7 years Ninu(na), his son aged about 5 years). Native Cult Movements 9. Natives at Warburton and Ernabella Missions sought my advice on several cult movements which are now affecting them. Three inter-related movements are discernible - Kurunara, Wonbu Kutara, Wombu Ayiri - and they originated in the Marble Bar, Port Hedland, Broome area. Their spread is via Jiggalong Mission, Willuna, Mulga Queen, Leonora, Laverton, Warburton to Rawlinsons, Warburton to Ernabella, Oodnadatta and Alice Springs. 10. Kurunara is not new by any means but phases two and three are, and they incorporate material which, purposefully or otherwise, is anti- white in character. From the WRE viewpoint, it is important to know if the movements come from the McLeod's Group, or if they are a 'natural' phase in the culture-contact sequence. I have heard that the cult movements have had a tremendous influence on natives in constant contact with whites. They have not had much appeal to the Rawlinson natives who do not think as yet that they are so badly off. 11. The immediate embarrassment to natives at Warburton and Ernabella is connected with one sentiment of the movements indicating that natives should move towards the north-west coast, there to receive the good things of the white man and be looked after in a 'proper manner'. So Far. Warburton and Ernabella natives have not shown any inclination to leave the Missions. 12. Recently, however, messenger-musterers have brought word that native women in the 'north-west' have been shown the sacred life, including the initiation of young men. The call has gone out for natives of Western Central Australia to form a huge 'womala' (soldier group), and move across to the north-west to extract revenge. This has definite appeal to the natives and they acknowledge the responsibility. There is also a ready parallel when some fifty years ago, a group in the Mt Davies, Mt Gosse, Mt Samuel area was rounded up and burned at Jalkada for similar infringements of the sacred life. 13. In answer to the questions of the Warburton and Ernabella Natives, I advised them that I was extremely loathe to interfere with their business but that my advice was that (a) there could easily be a connection between the cult movements and the alleged showing to women of the sacred life. This could be a trick to get them across to the north-west. (b) The area referred to is a great distance away and there is no guarantee that the culprits will be there when the avengers arrive. Moreover, there are plenty of natives much closer to the area in question. Also it is likely that Police would turn back any large scale movement of natives. 14. This advice fitted in with the attitude of the middle aged group of natives who were endeavouring to block the cult movement and prevent any movement of natives from the Missions. Firearms 15. The police constable from Laverton recently confiscated three .22 rifles at Warburton Mission on the alleged grounds that it is illegal for natives to have firearms on a Reserve. While the constable may have been endeavouring to exert authority - I heard that he was ordered not to make any arrests connected with sheep spearing at Warburton - and while I do not know if the Missioners lodged any complaints, I do feel that un- necessary hardship was imposed. Certainly, the loss of these weapons which are so intimately linked with the economic life caused a considerable amount of resentment among the natives. 16. The South Australian Police attitude appears better adapted. Ernabella Missioners have been requested by the Police to register every rifle held by the natives. I have not heard reliably of any case where a native has used a firearm dangerously or provocatively against whites, although I know of several instances over the last three years when whites have fired near natives in a provocative manner. It is noted that Ernabella wisely invoked Police action against a native who used a knife in a fight instead of a spear. 17. Billy, a Rawlinson native, obtained a rifle at Ernabella recently, and there are several in the Wingellina area. Bullets are obtained from whites at Ernabella in exchange for dingo scalps. 18. It is suggested that the Western Australian Police Department gives further consideration to the matter of the use of firearms by natives on Reserve No. 17614. Wingellina 19. There are about six whites at Wingellina under the control of Mr J Johnson. There were about twenty natives at Wingellina when I left and more are expected to move across from Warburton when the Mission closes after Christmas. Mr Johnson, who handles natives well, enlisted my aid in encouraging them to spend more time away from Wingellina. Some were using the Bore and WRE punp at Mt Davies when I left the area. Blackstones and Mt Davies 20. The buildings at Blackstones and Mt Davies do not appear to have been visited by natives for some time. It is noted that Mr H A Laine has complained to the Western Australian Police about stealing by natives at Blackstones although when he left Blackstones he indicated clearly that he was abandoning the camp. Warburton Mission 21. The Mission has not changed much over the last three years although it appears slightly better administered by Mr K Siggs than by Mr H Green. Several new bores have been put down. The natives were still complaining bitterly about the poor employment position. On a daily average, six men and six women are employed at the Mission. Visit to Northern Territory Settlements 22. While in Alice Springs I took advantage of an offer by the District Education Officer (Welfare Department) and the District Welfare Officer to accompany the District Education Officer in his vehicle to the Bungalow Native Settlement near Alice Springs, its unoccupied successor, Amoonguna, and Warrabri Native Settlement. These visits proved very valuable in assessing Northern Territory Welfare policy and machinery. 23. Warrabri, built at a reputed cost of 180,000 pounds is the show piece of the Northern Territory Native Settlements. It became operative in 1957 and has first class accomodation for the thirty whites living there. The white staff consists of a superintendent, manager, assistant manager, farm manager, two carpenters, driver-mechanic, cook supervisor, three nursing sisters, one teacher for white children, a pre-school teacher and four teachers for native children. There are about 300-400 natives at Warrabri, many of them housed in small one-room aluminium houses with separate ablution facilities. It is noted that Warrabri was not providing work for all the natives on the Settlement although I was unable to obtain any figures as to what percentage is unemployed. Inland Mineral Expedition 24. During October, a Sydney group, financed by Sydney business man, set up camp near Lake Christopher at the western end of the Rawlinsons to prospect for Lasseter's gold. The group was expensively but ill-equipped, inexperienced, and very much the victim of the heat and flies. After con- stant bickering among the personnel of the party, Mr D Blacklock, Managing Director of Slazengers, flew to Giles and returned the party to Sydney after only three weeks of the scheduled six months in the field. 25. The party consisted of Herbert Deloraine, Donald Fleming, Thomas Wilkinson, Paul Bolton, Robert Macaulay, and Charles Foley. Their Reserve permits were in order. 26. Mr Blacklock presented 7 cartons of weet-bix, 2 cartons of baked beans, 1 carton of diced carrots, 5 x 150lb bags of plain flour, and 2 x 50lb bags of S.R. flour to me for the natives in the area. These articles are held in the Native Patrol Officer's store at Giles and will be used from time to time to 'pay' natives for filming and tape recording rights. Mr Blacklock asked for two small woomeras and I shall despatch two miniature spear sets to him and recoup the cost from the Rawlinson natives. 27. Personnel of the Inland Mineral Expedition, apparently under the influence of Mr M Sawtell of Sydney, asked seemingly casual questions about the variance in State policies towards the Reserves and the attitudes of the State Governments towards Missions. There is no doubt that the future of the Central Reserves will come more and more into the limelight. 28. The Inland Mineral Expedition stated that Mr R Ansett has a plan to send tourist buses between Alice Springs and Kalgoolie via Giles and Laverton once a graded road is pushed through from Giles to Alice Springs via the Petermanns. Recommendation 29. It is suggested that the Western Australian Police Department gives further consideration to the matter of the use of firearms by natives on Reserve No. 17614. Yours faithfully R Macaulay Native Patrol Officer