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Ned Kelly

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In this latest assignment everybody had to pick a topic or theme they were interested in and write up a report about it, stating opinions, information and our points of view. We had to compose 3 questions concerning our topic and then research our topic to find out the answers. The topic I chose was ‘Ned Kelly’ since this is something I don’t know much about and it is part of our history and something that I have always found interesting. Also what made a bushranger so famous (or as some say infamous) and why is he such a remembered name?

I would like to learn more about him and establish my own personal opinion by gathering facts so that I can see whether he was a villain who murdered and robbed people or whether he was a crime-fighting hero and role model for others. Edward “Ned” Kelly is Australia’s most famous bushranger who lived from around 1855 and got hanged on the 11 November 1880. For some people, he was a hero for his defiance of the colonial authorities. For others, he was a villain who deceived and murdered innocent people. As a young man Ned Kelly clashed with the police.

Following an incident at his home in 1878, police parties searched for him in the bush. After he murdered three policemen, Ned and his gang became wanted outlaws. A final violent confrontation with police took place at Glenrowan. Ned Kelly was dressed in his famous helmet and metal armour, but that wasn’t enough because soon later he was captured and sent to trial. He was hanged for multiple murders at Melbourne Gaol in 1880. So, what was it that made him so famous or infamous? After all, lots of people have murdered and run away from the law.

Why is he the one that Australia remembers and why is he, until today an iconic figure in Australian history, folk lore, literature, art and film? Ned Kelly was a daring and brave man who stood up for what he believed in and instead of following all of the other peasants at the time, he chose not to live an underprivileged, harsh life and die a broken man like thousands of other poor people. We must remember that life in the 1800’s it wasn’t as easy as it is now and Ned Kelly wanted to make a change by showing that he didn’t have to live the way everyone else did.

He outrun the police on several occasions and lived an outlaw. He showed spirit and determination by fighting for his, as well as others’ lives and rights. He murdered several police men and people who stood in his way, and many of the village peasants were happy that someone was finally standing up against the law. Not all he did was bad though; he saved many people’s lives and helped people. This is what made him so well-known and such a major Australian icon. What impact did he have on our society and how has he changed Australia?

After all he lived almost 200 years ago so is his life relevant to ours? Ned Kelly has had a big impact on Australian society – “He was a true free Australian and showed courage, strength and independence by standing up to the authorities and searching for a better life”. “The things he did have reminded us of Robin Hood”. In a lot of ways, Ned Kelly is like Australia’s version of ‘Robin Hood’. He helped poor people, saved many lives and fought for the rights of people who lived in poverty resembling him.

However not everyone saw him like that and opinions range from “a deceiving coward who murdered for the fun of it” to “a heroic and brave man who should be honoured and respected for the life he lived”. Ned Kelly’s life was very similar to ours, and some people would share many qualities and characteristics with him. “He is a respected man and there are things that make him similar to our lives now”. Ned Kelly’s life was very similar to ours, and some people would share many qualities and characteristics with him.

Ned Kelly had trouble at school and decided to give it up to become a bush ranger so he could make money in order to help his family. Millions of kids nowadays find school troubling and have problems of their own – just like Ned. A lot of the time teenagers drop out of school and search for jobs to make money. He is somebody that Australia honours, remembers and respects and he has changed our community by showing bravery and not following everyone else – instead he stood up for his rights, and helped others along the way.

From the questions I have answered and the information I have gathered, I have learned a lot and I now know a very important part of Australian history and pride. I have achieved everything that I wanted to and have enjoyed this task. My personal opinion of Ned Kelly is that deep down he was a good man and he stood up for himself and wasn’t afraid of doing so. He made mistakes and shouldn’t have turned the law against him, but nobody’s perfect and he still gave us something to remember.

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