Kunawarritji rangers are joined on country by Newman police
Recently, the Kunawarritji rangers took a couple of Newman police officers out on country. The group ventured to soaks, checked tourist permits and visited a number of important sites. Below is the diary entry from the team.
DAY 1 (Tuesday 30 April)
Two police officers from Newman – David Strommer and Aaron Doranz – arrived in Kunawarritji from Punmu, ready to come out on country for a two-night trip with us.
We headed north along the Canning Stock Route (CSR) to Well 35 (Kinyu). Here, we stopped and took them for a walk around the soak. This is an important place for Martu.
Next was Well 36 (Kilkil) where we met two tourist vehicles. We stopped for a chat and gave them some info on the CSR. Abel Yallabah and Lawrence Whyoulter checked their permits.
Afterwards we drove to Well 37 (Lipuru) for a look and then headed then off to our camping spot for the night. It had been nearly seven weeks since we had been to the well, so we drove over to inspect the camel carcass which was in the well. It was a lot less smelly and pretty much skin and bone.
To get a better look, we decided to give it a poke with the shovel instead of jumping in. This was a good move, because it was liquid. We made a group decision to let it dry out more before attempting to get it out. We placed the chain-wire gate over the well opening to prevent any more camels falling in and secured it with star pickets.
Then we went back to camp, where we made a fire, set up the kitchen and cooked up a chicken curry. The police knew a lot of the Martu in Newman, so it was a good yarn around the campfire.
DAY 2 (Wednesday 1 May)
We got an early start, before the flies got too friendly and headed back south along the stock route. Halfway to Well 36 (Kilkil), we detoured north to visit Yuluru Purntajarra soak, which had been recently dug up by dingoes and water was visible.
Just east of Well 36 (Kilkil) we took a side track that took us south-west of the CSR, crossing laterite hills. This track took us past several rock holes that we’d ground-truthed back in 2016 – including Mintikayi and Kiwirlpa. It didn’t look like the track had been used since then either, as some of the scrub had grown over the track.
We continued travelling, making it to Yurrunguny rock hole by late afternoon. This gave us a chance to show the police the rock hole which had completely dried up since we had last visited back in early March. The remote camera we’d set up back then had unfortunately malfunctioned, so there weren’t any videos or images to show.
A top feed of spaghetti bolognese was had for dinner and, once again, we all had a good yarn with Aaron and David. We weren’t the only ones out that night though, as we heard some dingoes around.
Overall, the trip was a good chance to show two of Newman’s police officers our country, share stories and build good relationships.