Narional Archives of Australia
Report on Patrol 16 October 1963
Patrol Report R Macauley 16.10.1963
16 October 1963
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Native Patrol officer