1952, 19 Minutes
Narrated by iconic Australian actor Chips Rafferty, this film follows the annual patrol of one outback policeman, Constable Robert Darkin and his two assistants, Aboriginal trackers Syd and Sonny.
An outback police officer is multi-skilled. If someone has broken the law, Constable Darkin can convene an outdoor court, but in this job he’s also collector of public monies and protector of Aborigines, Commonwealth electoral returning officer; commissioner for affidavits for the Supreme Court; postmaster; inspector of stock; and registrar of births, deaths, marriages, mines, motor vehicles and dogs. He checks that there is water in the government bores for the cattle drovers and keeps an eye on the lone prospectors who roam the trackless hills and vast, parched plains.
In 1952, similar horse and camel teams operating from other scattered police stations patrolled the entire half million square miles of the Northern Territory.
An Australian National Film Board Production. Produced by the Department of the Interior. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Tom Gurr
Running Time: 19 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Australian History - of particular relevance for NSW History Stage 5, Topic 6 'Changing Rights and Freedoms' Section A: Aboriginal Peoples - Change over Time; Australian Indigenous Studies; English - 'Identity, Place and Culture'; HSIE (Aboriginal Studies Stage 6); Policing Studies 'Indigenous Issues in Policing'.