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Monday, January 04, 2016

Woodland Track - Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve

A 2 km circuit hike on Jan 3 2016. Kangaroos live in this Woodland but were on holidays on this occasion! 

Aboriginal people knew the location of Dandenong Police Paddocks as Nerre Nerre Warren.
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.

The Boardwalk on the north section of the track has been dismantled due to deterioration. In previous years, there was an extensive lagoon there but it has been dry for a long time.

The track is reached from the gate at the end of Brady Rd, then through the Nerre Nerre Warren Picnic Ground, which is now accessable only by bike or on foot. 

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