The following article appeared in the Singleton Argus on 12 April, 1924. It has all the hallmarks of the retrospectives of the time - poetic descriptions, adherence to oral history and enough accurate information sprinkled throughout to legitimise the unsubstantiated claims in the eyes of most casual readers. Articles such as this helped to entrench much of the inaccurate information that many clung to - and in some cases still do - in order to justify their opinions of the players.
It was the most audacious heist in bushranging, the largest gold robbery in Australian history and the masterpiece of Frank Gardiner - but how did it unfold?
You can sing of Johnny Gilbert, Dan Morgan and Ben Hall, But the bold and reckless Gardiner, he's the boy to beat them all.
Rolf de Heer's The Tracker, starring the legendary David Gulpilil in the first lead role of his career, is the story of a posse in the Northern Territory searching for an Aboriginal man accused of murdering a white woman and the harrowing misadventures that occur along the way. First released in 2002, it was lauded by industry types and critics for its lyrical and powerful study of racism in post-colonial times.
In 1864 Dan Morgan's reign of terror was moving into full swing. In January of that year the New South Wales government formally issued a reward for Morgan's apprehension, which was advertised in many publications in an effort to raise awareness.
There are scores of bushrangers whose names have faded from public consciousness over the decades, a phenomenon not entirely due to the nature of their activities. Henry Bradley and Patrick O'Connor are hardly household names now but their exploits in the 1850s are nothing short of astounding and even resulted in a geographical feature being named after them: Bushrangers Bay.
John Thompson was a member of Captain Thunderbolt's first gang in 1865. During this time he was working as a bushranger in the gang alongside Mary Ann Bugg, Thomas "The Bull" Hogan and a lad called McIntosh. The gang had been operating since January in the region around the Culgoa and Bokhara rivers when Thompson joined them in February of 1865.
This week we asked film-maker Matthew Holmes, writer and director of The Legend of Ben Hall, to pen some thoughts about his passion for Ben Hall, bushrangers, film-making and how that translated into his award winning film.
The following article, published 21 November 1920, talks about an upcoming book release about Australia's colonial days. Specifically it refers to the oral legends about Teddy the Jewboy and how they formed the basis of a novel called Castle Vane.
Captain Moonlite is a name well known by bushranger enthusiasts, but his story is often overlooked. Yet, Moonlite's tale is perhaps one of the most tragic in the pantheon of bushranging. It is a tale of a ragtag bunch of men and boys from social disadvantage being pushed so far into desperation by capricious and vindictive agents of the law and a lack of support from society or their families that they become violent criminals and pay the ultimate price for their fall from grace. For those of us who take an interest in social justice it becomes an intriguing look at what contributes to delinquency.