Patrol Report, R Macaulay, 16 June 1960

Narional Archives of Australia Canberra Office A6456 R136/007 Patrol Report, R Macaulay, 16 June 1960 Woomera, SA 16 June 1960 Superintendent Woomera, SA May-June 1960 Patrol to Central Reserve and Giles Movements 1. I departed Woomera 7th May, 1960, proceeding to Giles Meteorological Station via Mt Eba, Coober Pedy, Granite Downs, Ernabella Mission, and Mulga Park, arriving in the Rawlinson Range area 13th May. The period 14th May to 25th May, was spent in the Rawlinson Range - Mural Crescent area alternatively looking for a woman with suspected tuberculosis and waiting for vehicular maintenance. 26th May I proceeded towards Alice Springs, arriving 28th May, departing 29th May, for Ernabella Mission, Oodnadatta, Maree, Leigh Creek, and Port Augusta, and arriving Woomera 3rd June, 1960. 3000 miles were covered during the patrol. Condition of Country 2. Further good rains had fallen after my January - February patrol and the countryside is virtually blooming. There are some extensive patches of green feed. All the natives encountered by me reported a plentiful supply of rock-hole and soak waters. The impending South Aust- ralian Ministerial Welfare Party will see the Reserve in fine condition. Wingellina Mining Camp 3. Indications are that the future of Wingellina will be decided within the next six months. At the moment there are three or four white men and one white woman at Wingellina with a likely small male increase shortly. There was only one family of natives at Wingellina - Jacky and his three wives. They were moved from around Wingellina by Mr Reid, Geosurveys Camp Manager, following a squabble with Jacky over payments for wood collecting and odd jobs carried out by Jacky. I am told that one of Jack's wives stole some flour as well. Jacky and family then moved across to Mt Davies where a South Australian Mines Department camp had been set up. Mount Davies 4. A small South Australian Mines Department party will occupy the deserted buildings at Mount Davies intermittently until November, 1960. The party is carrying out a geological mapping project in the North-West Reserve area. When I left Mount Davies, the Mines Depart- ment Geologist Mr R Mirams, was endeavouring to secure the services of Tommy Dodd, a half-caste from Ernabella, and another native, as care- takers while the Mines Department personnel proceeded south on short leave. Rawlinson Range Natives 5. A few days before my arrival at Giles, fifty Rawlinson natives moved in from the east. They joined a few natives already near Giles to receive a red-ochre corroboree from a visiting contingent from Warb- urton. At the same time a series of dramatic Tidari (?Tinari) corroborees were held to bring five initiated young men back into camp life following their seclusion. After trading some scalps the whole group split up and travelled north-east, east, and west to Warburton. There are now no natives in the Rawlinson Range. There is a plentiful supply of kan- garoo and emu meat in the Reserves. Certain localities have abundant stocks of vegetable matter. There are many rabbit warrens away from the harder quartzite flats surrounding the Rawlinson Range. Health of Rawlinson Natives 6. Notification of Death - After camping in the native camp I found a child in extremely poor condition. Tyadin, an eighteen month old child had the appearance of a three month old child. I contacted the Flying Doctor and an aircraft took Tyadin to hospital in Alice Springs where she died three days later from malnutrition. Tyadin's case was exceptional as all the other babies and young children are in fine con- dition. It appears that Tyadin did not survive the dangerous transition period from breast feeding to solid foods. Tyadin was the daughter of Nowina (father) and Malguia. On medical advice I transported Nowina, Malguia and an older daughter, Kam:i, to hospital in Alice Springs for a check-up. They should return to the Reserve by aircraft shortly. 7. The other Rawlinson natives blame Nowina and Malguia for hanging around the rubbish dumps at Giles and for not providing bush food for Tyadin. Nowina was extremely fortunate to escape spearing in the thighs. I expect he will follow the examples of others and live away from Giles in localities where there are more rabbits and where husband and wife are forced out hunting and collecting each day, with more or less guaranteed success, instead of taking the easier course of scrounging around Giles for food, with no guarantee of a regular food supply. 8. Burns - There was a large crop of burns to babies in the Raw- linson group. These are normal winter accidents. Two of the burns had become infected. On advice from the nursing sister, who flew out for Tyadin, I treated the infections and some of the burns. This kept me busy for two weeks. 9. Stones - Darky (Ta:ki) who was flown to Alice Springs a few months ago in extreme agony, having passed several stones by urination, has now returned from hospital in Alice Springs. 10. Tuberculosis - I was able to track Wanupai to south of the Mural Crescent. She was two days ahead of me and leading an old blind woman. Despite attempts by several natives and me to catch her, she slipped into the Petermanns. Some of the natives may have caught up with her by the time the Ministerial Party traverses the Petermanns. The medical authorities in Alice Springs have now taken the urgency from her case, and advise that she is a suspected tuberculosis case only, albeit a reas- onably certain one. Giles Weather Station 11. I spent very little time at the Weather Station, but on two occasions heard that the camp was not a happy one. This bore out my observations. The redeeming factor is the present rapid change-over of personnel as contrasted to the twelve to sixteen months terms in the earlier days of Giles. 12. Once again the WRE personnel at Giles brought up the subject of the impracticability of having a weather observer in charge of camp activities. Unfortunately, it is not easy for some at Giles to see that other con- siderations are involved, not the least of which would appear to be the inter-departmental relationship between WRE (Supply) and Bureau of Meteorology (Interior). 13. It should be placed on record that the O. I/C Giles brought up the old perennial of how far instructions relating to the contact position between whites and natives, can be relaxed. This was done in a most friendly and willing manner. After exposing both sides of the question, I pointed out the core of the problem and the difficulty of control. The O. I/C is willing and keen, but any improvement in the contact position will require cooperation from his team which may not be easy. At the moment the matter is of little consequence as the natives are staying away from Giles more and more. Refrigerator 14. The Polson refrigerator with attached Villiers four-stroke petrol driven engine performed very well on its initial trial. With its large storage capacity and ease of working, this unit should bring much greated comfort during summer patrols. Unfortunately the unit was mounted poorly and some modifications to the mounting in the vehicle are necessary and are being adjusted in the workshops. Vehicle 15. The International 4 x 4 performed well. The only major trouble was a broken rear half shaft. New Road 16. The new trig survey road being constructed north-east of Giles by Mr L Beadell was followed only as far as the Rebecca Creek. This road begins in a wide spinifex about 18 miles south of Giles and leads north- east through the Rebecca Creek gap then in a north-easterly direction towards Vaughan Springs. Liaison with Police 17. I encountered Sergeant Con Doyle and Mounted Constable Bill Jacobs of Oodnadatta at Mount Davies on their annual police patrol. Good liaison was established with them and the police sergeants at Marree and Leigh Creek. R Macaulay Native Patrol Officer