Born: Established: 1900 ; Died: Ceased: 26 Aug 1994 Fitzroy Crossing Kimberley area North Western Australia Western Australia
Jack Bohemia was born on Old Bohemia Downs Station, south-east of Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. At an early age he was taken onto stock-camps so that he could learn to be a stockman. He worked mainly on Bohemia Downs Station unless he went on droving trips, taking horses and cattle to Broome or sometimes Darwin. On some of these trips he was the head drover. He finished working as a stockman in 1938. By this time he had risen to the position of head Stockman at Bohemia Downs Station.
In 1922, Bohemia was successful in helping the police track down an Indigenous man who allegedly murdered two non-Indigenous men. In 1938, he left his stockman job at Bohemia Downs Station due to an argument with his employer over the lack of rations. He went to Fitzroy Crossing police station to look for work on other stations. Sergeant Laurie O'Neil told him that he could work for the Police Force as a tracker. Bohemia used his skills to find murderers, thieves, lost people, Indigenous 'runaways' or, on 'Leper Patrols', those in the bush who suffered from leprosy .
Bohemia spent 32 years working as a tracker and in 1970 he was given a British Empire Medal for his service to the police and community. He did not retire from active duty until 1975. Bohemia was considered the best tracker in the Kimberley.
He was given a full police funeral in recognition of his service to the Western Australian Police Force.
(Source: Jack Bohemia and Bill McGregor, Nyibayarri: Kimberley Tracker, 1995 )