IN THE TRACKS OF THE CAMELMEN
the first book to trace the history of the Afghan and Indian camel drivers in Australia. It paints a vivid picture of the camelmen, their families and communities, their way of life and, of course, their camels. And it records their crucial contribution to the opening up of this continent and to Australia’s growth, development and prosperity.
Outback Australia has always proved both a temptation and a threat to settlers. Since the mid 1800’s when explorers first penetrated its vastness, the harsh climate has claimed the lives of both people and livestock. Far from established towns, the early settlers, graziers, pastoralists and miners had to rely on supplies transported over great distances. Those courageous enough to venture into Australia’s isolated interior found that the animals traditionally used to carrying horses, donkeys and bullocks-were unable to survive such arid conditions.
Pamela Rajkowski is a research author specialising in the history, heritage and contribution of the Australian Afghan Cameleers ( 1860 - 1930). Pamela regularly collaborates with Afghan Cameleer descendants across Australia. Although her research is founded on a range of secondary sources ( eg archives, news papers,), it is enriched by ongoing conversations with descendants.
Pamela's work has been sourced by academics, musuems and the media, both nationally and internationally.
Pamela is credited as being one of the first authors to reseach the history of the Afghan cameleers of Australia and uncovered previously unknown files of stolen generation Aboriginal children of Western Australia ( Linden Girl) that remained active until the 1970s.
UPDATE OF EVENTS
As one of the leading experts in the field, Pamela Rajkowski was asked by BBC TV London to present on " Jimmy's Australian Food Adventure" . Pamela cooked a traditional Afghan Cameleers meal and presented in the traditional way the cameleers would have eaten after returning from a long trek. . Here are some photos from Pamela's personal collection, Pamela talking to Jimmy and making Johnny cakes. If you click on the 21 min mark, you will see the Afghan Cameleers segment.