Born: 6 April 1907, Mornington, Victoria, Australia
Died: 5 April 1976, Victoria, Australia
Walter MacDougall, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was educated in Tasmania and Melbourne. From 1931 to 1939 he served as assistant missionary at Kunmunya Mission in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. From 1940 to 1946 he served at Ernabella Mission in north-west South Australia. In 1947 MacDougall was appointed Native Patrol Officer (NPO) by the Commonwealth Department of Supply. His duties were to protect Aboriginal people during the proposed rocket tests at the newly established Woomera Rocket Range in northern South Australia. Based at Woomera, he carried out long-range patrols into central Australia and north-west Western Australia to make contact with Aboriginal people still living in the desert, and others resident at missions and ration depots who might traverse the rocket range. After 1953 he was given the added responsibility of ensuring the safety of Aboriginal people during the British nuclear tests at Emu and Maralinga. MacDougall retired as NPO in 1972 and moved with his wife and daughter back to Victoria.
His collection in the South Australian Museum Archives comprises photographs he took at Kunmunya and Ernabella, as well as others taken while he was based at Woomera.