“X” – The Life and Death of a Courageous Digger

Today’s blog post explores the war service of an Aboriginal Queenslander who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. The extract below from an open letter published in the Townsville Daily Bulletin, 24 Oct 1916, brings to the fore the subject of this blog post: Private William (Billy) Elsdale. Believed to be the first Aboriginal digger […]

War census and Protector of Aboriginals records

Discovering archival records can throw up as many questions as answers. When staff from the Community and Personal Histories section (Department of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs) located and indexed aboriginal census returns we knew this to be a treasure trove of information, but the questions started: Were these stand alone lists […]

Queensland Police Service and last police tracker, Coen

Established on 1 January 1864, the Queensland Police Force is celebrating 150 years of service. Since the inception of Queensland and the Police Service, local trackers have been employed, initially to assist troopers and later Queensland Police officers. The hunting skills of Aboriginal trackers and their ability to find food and water were utilised by the Queensland Police […]