Narional Archives of Australia
Patrol Report, R Macaulay, 16 June 1960
16 June 1960
May-June 1960 Patrol to Central Reserve and Giles
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.
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
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
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.
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.
15. The International 4 x 4 performed well. The only major trouble
was a broken rear half shaft.
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
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.
Native Patrol Officer