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Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW


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  • Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW 
    Title: Pathfinders: A history of Aboriginal trackers in NSW
    Author: BENNETT MICHAEL
    Format: PAPERBACK
    Publication date: 01/03/2020
    Imprint: NEW SOUTH WALES UNI PRESS
    Price: $35.00
    Publishing status: Active

    There
    are few Aboriginal icons in white Australian history. From the explorer to the
    pioneer, the swagman to the drover’s wife, Europeans predominate. Perhaps the
    only exception is the redoubtable tracker who, with skills passed down by generation
    after generation for over 65,000 years, read the signs and traced the movement
    of people across the land.


    The
    saviour of many and cursed by the wayward, trackers live in the collective
    memory as one of the few examples where Aboriginal people’s skills were sought
    after in colonial society. In NSW alone, thousands of Aboriginal men and a
    smaller number of women toiled for the authorities post-1862, tracking the lost
    and confused, seeking out the thieves and their ill-gotten booty and bringing
    criminals to justice.


    More
    often than not the role of tracker went unacknowledged. Little about the
    complexity and diversity of their work is known, how it grew out of traditional
    society and was sustained by the vast family networks of Aboriginal families that
    endure to this day. Pathfinders brings the work of trackers to the
    forefront of NSW law enforcement history, ensuring their contribution is
    properly acknowledged.

    ‘The word tracker conjures images of
    the legendary Aboriginal bush experts responsible for bringing criminals to
    justice and finding people lost in the wild. Michael Bennett’s new book is a
    very welcome addition. The book charts an important though largely overlooked
    area of the country’s history. Aboriginal trackers hold a mythical yet obscure
    presence in the history of the continent. Bennett weaves back into the nation’s
    historical narrative these Aboriginal heroes and heroines.’ — Professor John
    Maynard



    ISBN: 9781742236568
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