Patrol Report, W MacDougall 19 June 1957

Narional Archives of Australia Canberra Office A6456 R136/006 Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia Collection of documents relating to Aboriginals 21. 1.1947 - 29. 8.1984 AIATSIS B G646.83/R1 Volumes 1-17 Patrol Report, W MacDougall 19 June 1957 Patrol from Maralinga to Colona Mission 19th June, 1957 Superintendent WRE Range Woomera I left Maralinga with Mr Gillespie on Thursday 13th June to learn from Kuntjinti the route he and his family followed on their journey south. 2. The party consisted of a man, his wife and two children; Kuntjinti male 45 years Milparti female 35 years Kuntjarri male 12 years Rose female 2 years They are Jangkuntjara people not Pitjintjintjara. The Jangkuntjara tribal country is contained in an area bounded on the East by Long 133 deg 45 min East, on the West by Long 130 deg 10 min East, on the North by Lat 24 deg 20 min South and on the South Lat 28 deg 40 min South. 3. Kuntjinti is a bush type who deplores the gradual breaking down of tribal law and custom. Approximately fifteen years ago his first wife died and he travelled into a neighbouring tribes country to Ooldea. At Ooldea he married a Jangkuntjara woman whose husband had died whilst on a visit to Ooldea; later they returned to the Everard Ranges. 4. Approximately last June he left the Everard Range because of the behaviour of the younger members of his tribe and travelled west. In the vicinity of Mt Bonyboninnya he witnessed the killing of a bullock by his tribesmen. Not wanting to be involved he travelled further west to Pooratinna called Moolipinna on the map and from there to Tepata or Tepala at Mt Sir Thomas. At this stage he saw the Emu Mt Davies Road. 5. Largely from curiosity he followed the road south through Tjartaman to its end, signs of their occupation of Tjartaman were seen by me a few weeks ago. At the end of the road he saw the bulldozer left there by Mr Beadell. 6. Whilst travelling along the road he noticed hunting fires to the west. Because he did not know who was hunting he decided not to go further west. At this stage he based his hunting excursions on a water supply called Nguntjuanna which is near Wright Hill. 7. Having followed the road to its end he decided to visit friends at Ooldea. He knew of white man activity at Maralinga but was not unduly concerned. 8. He travelled South across sandhills and found another road running East and West. He crossed this and continued South. Note : This road would be that made from Emu to meet the one from Mt Davies. He apparently travelled to the West of Emu as he did not see any more signs of white occupation until he reached the Maralinga area. 9. From Nguntuanna he travelled to Pitijara, Karuala, Kupitji and Wi:narra, he intended travelling to Ooldea soak via Puntala which is the current name for Yardina which is marked upon the map at approximately Long 131 deg 20 min East, Lat 29 deg 58 min South. It was on this stage of the journey that they were found. 10. Whilst discussing incidents of their trip I suggested that as they had accidentally seen somethimg of a whiteman's ceremony they should not declare anything to other white men. Summary The family are from Everard Range not Ernabella, all of whom know of Maralinga activity. A series of incidents combined to suggest a trip to Ooldea. The greatest factor being a North South road where there had never been a road before. Despite the dry conditions there was sufficient water for the trip. Bush natives who have not been spoilt by the abundant supplies of both food and water available in white communities do not hesitate to depend upon small supplies and mallee roots. The man is not very concerned in regards to his experiences but his wife is worried about the possibility of punishment for trespassing on what was obviously a male area and therefore probably a ceremonial ground taboo to females. It is not likely to happen again but there are natives living West of the road who may follow it if they find it. It is interesting to note that the report of hunting fires from Sergeant Frank Smith whilst he was at the Mobile Met Site established near Mt Lindsay was correct. Mr Macaulay and I at the time decided that he was mistaken. Kuntjinti assured me that hunting fires to the west accompanied him during his trip south. He had decided that they also were travelling to ooldea but they turned back aboout the time he was passing to the west of Emu. To make a better check and to insure that no other party unknow- ingly trespass I suggest that I, later this year, take Kuntjinti back the way he came as far as Wright Hill thus establishing a reasonable Land Rover track which could be patrolled periodically by myself or Mr Macaulay. W B MacDougall Native Patrol Officer