Patrol Report R Macauley 16.10.1963

Narional Archives of Australia Canberra Office A6456 R136/008 Report on Patrol 16 October 1963 Patrol Report R Macauley 16.10.1963 Woomera, SA 16 October 1963 Superintendent Woomera, SA Purpose 1. The patrol was planned in three parts - (a) an inspection of the outer perimeter of the Maralinga Prohibited Zone to re-establish first hand contact with a group of Aborigines near Bringyna Well in contact with Constable Murray. (b) a short period at Warburton Mission to finalise material for the chapter on the Mission in my forthcoming mono- graph on the Central Reserves. (c) an initial patrol north from Browne Range via the Alfred and Marie Range to Well 35 on the Canning Stock Route, and then to Lake Disappointment to establish contact with any natives in that area. Parts (b) and (c) lapsed when the patrol vehicle developed serious mechanical faults at the termination of part (a). Mr MacDougall has widened his current patrol to include part (c) of the above schedule. Route 2. The route was from Woomera on 22nd July via Port Augusta, Iron Knob, Kimba, to Ceduna (0/N 22/7); via Koonibba, Tallowan, Ooldea to Maralinga (0/N 23/7); via Watson to near Fisher )0/N 24/7); via Cook, Muckera to Bringyna and the Aboriginal Camp (0/N 25/7); via Vokes Hill, Serpentine Lakes to a point 20 m. west of the SA/WA border (0/N 26/7); via Neale Junction to a point 60 m. south of Neale Junction (0/N 27/7); via Seymour Downs, Rawlinna, Naretha to Zanthus (0/N 28/7); to Cundeelee Mission and Zanthus (0/N 29/7); to Cundeelee Mission (0/N 30/7); entrain W-E Express (0/N 31/7); arriving Woomera 1 August 1963. 3. The new patrol vehicle, International 1 ton utility, AB-120, 4 x 4, ZSU 071, developed a serious mechanical fault near Zanthus. Inspection revealed that, after 2000 miles only, the push rods had worn holes through the bases of four of the cam followers, indicating in turn some probable excessive wear on the camshaft. The vehicle was placed on a flat-top and returned to Woomera on 5th August. The faulty parts have been returned to the manufacturer. The latest information indicates that some of the parts were of inferior construction. Maralinga 4. At Maralinga I met the new Range Commander, Colonel Henderson, and continued liaison with the Maralinga Establishment Security Officer and the Inspector, Commonwealth Police. The Range Commander had recently travelled over the outer perimeter roads and had met an Aboriginal family in the Prohibited Zone. This had led him to some appreciation of the problems and the delicate handling required in the early stages of contact between whites and nomadic Aborigines, especially in such a political context for Aboriginies as the Maralinga Prohibited Zone. 5. The Range Commander has placed the Vokes Hill - Cook road out of bounds to Maralinga recreation parties and has taken, I am led to believe, documented local action to ensure that such parties do not again enter the South Australian North-West Reserve from Emu. The Director, Department of Aboriginal Affairs has been asked to provide a Reserve warning sign for erection in a suitable place. (It is noted that there appears to have been no administrative instruction at Maralinga restraining personnel from entering the Reserve, nor any record of previous discussions between NPOs and Maralinga Authorities along these lines. This is not, of course, an excuse for the above mentioned illegal entry to the Reserve.) 6. Discussions at Maralinga also related to the quasi-legal and administrative position of Constable Murray of the Commonwealth Police Force, Maralinga, in his dealings with the nomadic Aborigines who wander across the SA / WA border into the Prohibited Zone. At that stage it was thought that the new Aborigines Act in South Australia contained a provision for 'Protectors Rights'. but this is not the case, and Murray's position will probably remain much the same as it is now. His position is, in fact, very little different in law under the new State Act from that of the State Officers. It was decided that I would approach the Director, DAA, with a view to providing a written framework to guide Maralinga Authorities in their dealings with nomadic Aborigines. Such a framework would outline the general attitude (or policy) of the State Authority towards these Aborigines and give some indication of the specific manner in which face-to-face contact should be controlled. 7. The Director, DAA, has asked me to assist him with this framework, but as yet I have put nothing on paper because I am uncertain of the future role of NPOs in the Maralinga Prohibited Zone, and this may have a vital bearing on the form of the framework. A suggestion from Maralinga of continual direct liaison between the Range Commander and the Director, DAA, will result inevitably in the by-passing of the Native Patrol Officers, Department of Supply, and lead them into taking an increasingly inactive role in Aboriginal Affairs in the Maralinga Zone. This constitutes an alteration to their terms of reference, as understood by them, and the NPOs will require direction from the Department of Supply on this matter. Aborigines 8. A family unit was encountered at Bringya Soak (approx. lat. S 29 degrees, long. E 130 degrees 20 minutes). They had been waiting some time to see me, and departed the morning after our meeting, heading to the Serpentine Lakes and Points west. A follow up patrol to see them again was can- celled when it was learned that they had moved into Western Australia about their normal business. It is reported that they planned going west then south of the Serpentine Lakes. No further contact is planned until they re-present themselves on a graded road in the Prohibited Zone. 9. The family is the one first seen by Mr MacDougall and me on the 22nd to 29th August, 1960, near the Nurrari Lakes. On that occasion there were other Aborigines with them, but they have since moved into Cundeelee Mission in company with a mission native. I was able to verify this when I saw them at Cundeelee on 30th July 1963. 10. The family now comprises Name Age Birthplace Relationship Wakarinya 46 yrs Tjindakara Husband (aka Tjomina after Tom Murray) Marinya 40 yrs Karapinya Wife Tangawunu 12 yrs Kalaya-piti Daughter of Marinya (Kalaya-piti is near Birksgate Range) Yati:ini (or Nabaka) 3 1/2 yrs Son of Marinya (yati:ini aka Takinya (Dougie(na)) Witabina 24 yrs Malpulana Wife (aka Nunkiana or Nayinbana) Karinyi 3 yrs Daughter of Witabina Wakarinya has a third wife, Pultukami, at Cundeelee Mission. 11. That is, the family as now constituted, contains six persons, husband, 2 wives, 3 children. The family appeared to be in good health. There were no observable physical defects although Witabina has extremely extended thighs and appears to be almost Steatopygous. 12. None of this group has been to Cundeelee, Warburton, or Ernabella Missions. They move in an area bounded approximately by Lake Maurice, Nurrari Lakes, east of Wanna Lakes swinging north to the Birksgates and south to Lake Maurice. It is not known how long they intend staying out there. They had an opportunity of going into Cundeelee with the other group in 1960, but declined to do so. Now that Tangawunu is approaching marriageable age, and now that they have a taste for white's foods, I expect the family will not remail isolated for more than a few years and probably much less than that. A recent message from an Army Survey Team at Neale Junction indicates that a woman and two children have turned up there, and this may indicate that they are seeking a way to Cundeelee Mission. Cundalee Mission 13. The purpose of visiting Cundeelee Mission was to check on the number of Aborigines still in the remote places of the Queen Victoria Desert. The Cundeelee natives well knew the six out there and verified that there is no one else in that area, a point made previously by Wakarinya. They mentioned a group north of Cundeelee moving in and out of the Warburton Mission, but this group is too far west of the border to be of interest to the Department of Supply. 14. Earlier in 1963, Constable Murray saw the tracks of two Aborigines near Vokes Hill. These tracks remain unexplained. murray believes they belong to the northern people, but they may belong to Wakarinya's family. R Macaulay Native Patrol officer