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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve

Exploring the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve, 30 km SE of Melbourne.

The Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve is one of the most significant heritage places in the Melbourne Region. It has been important to Aboriginal people both before and after European settlement in Victoria.

Aboriginal people knew the location as Nerre Nerre Warren and had been visiting this area for more than 35,000 years. Nerre Nerre Warren probably served as a camping ground and a place where ceremonies and gatherings were held.

The Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate Station was established to 'protect' Aboriginal people from the frontier violence by encouraging them to move to government stations. From October 1840 to December 1844, the 'official' headquarters for the Melbourne or Western Port District was Nerre Nerre Warren. At this location, school classes and religious services were held for Aboriginal people and rations provided in exchange for manual labour.

The Native Police Corps was stationed here from 1842 to the early 1850s. The Corps, consisting of Aboriginal men under the leadership of Captain Dana, were involved in dealing with disputes between Aboriginal and European people across Victoria.

The Native Police were also the first police stationed on the goldfields and they acted as guards at Pentridge Prison at Coburg.

Aboriginal people worked as trackers with the Victorian Police between 1879 and 1963. Until 1931, many of the trackers were based with the Victorian Police Horse Stud Depot at the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve.

My trip was on March 29, 2007.

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