|Portrait of 'John Piper', an Aboriginal tracker |
who accompanied Major Thomas Mitchell in his expedition across the Great Dividing Range.
Aboriginal guides, or black trackers, as they became known, were used to track down bushrangers. A group assisted the Victorian Police in tracking down Ned Kelly in 1878 and 1880.
"The volunteer 'black trackers' from Fraser Island and Cape York, employees of the Queensland Native Police who tracked Ned Kelly, were lured by a promise of a cut in £8,000 reward offered for Kelly's capture. After the Glenrowan showdown with Kelly and his gang in 1880, Jack Noble (Wannamutta) and Gary Owens (Werannabe)25, along with 92 others, applied for the reward. Sums were set aside for Noble and Owens and paid to the Queensland Government, but despite repeated requests the men never received their money. The men were placed in confinement camps with their families because they could not show visible means of support when they retired." From the Australian Government site.