Mulka Store sold everything a drover and his family might need, from ribbons to spurs. It was created and run by George and Mabel Aiston from the 1920s through to the 50s. George, nicknamed ‘Poddy’ because of his big belly, was described by mailman Tom Kruse as:
… a most remarkable man and he would have been a legend no matter where he lived – but it just seemed that the Birdsville Track was the most unlikely place in the world to find such an extraordinary personality.
Poddy had been a soldier, police officer, and Aboriginal Welfare Officer of the Kokatha and Parnkala peoples. An authority on totems and taboos and secret rituals, Poddy wrote for journals and newspapers and arranged a native arts and crafts exhibition at Melbourne’s National Museum – it was the first time that Simpson Desert men were seen in the city! Poddy catalogued museum collections and fought for the interests of Aboriginal people.
Hear more about Poddy and the Mulka Store in the Birdsville Track Audio Tour.