The 1878, the body of Sergeant Michael Kennedy lay in the bush in Victoria’s Wombat Ranges. He’d been shot by the notorious Ned Kelly gang – but the bush would add its own gruesome ending.
Ned Kelly’s death mask.
In an extract from his book, Australia in 50 Plays, Julian Meyrick reflects on an under-appreciated contribution to Australian theatre by the poet Douglas Stewart.
Destruction of the Kelly Gang. Drawn by Thomas Carrington during the siege.
State Library of Victoria
Four reporters joined the showdown with the Kelly gang 140 years ago. They became part of the story and set the tone for a legend.
This screen version of Ned Kelly does not die a hero.
True History of the Kelly Gang marks the tenth screen version of the Ned Kelly outbreak, and is a more violent and dark – and therefore true – telling.
Sidney Nolan’s Steve Hart dressed as a girl 1947 from the Ned Kelly series 1946 – 1947 enamel paint on composition board 90.60 x 121.10 cm.
Gift of Sunday Reed 1977 National Gallery of Australia
As a bushranger in the Kelly gang, Steve Hart took to dressing as a woman and riding side-saddle to avoid detection. Sidney Nolan’s painting captures Hart’s adolescent cockiness, bravery, and foolhardy bluster.
First Class Marksman (1978-79).
In the 1940s, the renowned Anglo-Australian artist became an outlaw just like his most famous subject, Ned Kelly.
Wangaratta police at the capture of Ned Kelly in 1880.
William Edward Barnes/ State Library of Victoria
Was Ned Kelly a Robin Hood warrior or a lone wolf/dangerous criminal/whacko? Given enough cultural oxygen, outlaws are apt to become folk heroes - something today’s shock jocks might care to remember.
Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter is not your standard bushranger confessional, it’s a searing document of prophecy and self-mythologisation.
If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? See the end of this article for information on how to get involved. Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter was…
Remembrance Day is one of many historic Australian events to fall on that date.
(AAP Image/Paul Miller
Australia’s national story is littered with significant occasions that have fallen on November 11 and two years ago, for me, was no different. It was the morning of November 11, 2011 and I was working…
Australian street gangs share many similarities with the early larrikin spirit of the Ned Kelly era. Melissa Bellanta, a…