Black Snake (Review)

Black Snake: The Real Story of Ned Kelly by Leo Kennedy and Mic Looby is one of those rare occasions when you get a truly fresh insight into familiar history. Driven by the desire to tell the story of his great-grandfather, Sergeant Michael Kennedy, after decades of bullying and seeing the killer of his forebear…

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Spotlight: The Capture of Dunn

The following account of the capture of the notorious John Dunn, former member of the Gilbert-Hall Gang and proclaimed outlaw, was taken from The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 11 January 1866. Dunn was the last member of the gang to be at large and had been identified as a member of Thunderbolt's gang following the death of Gilbert, though the descriptions of Dunn from those encounters do not match the real Dunn.

John Peisley: An Overview

Best known as Frank Gardiner's accomplice, John Peisley was a bushranger determined to lord over Lambing Flat and the Abercrombie region but whose vices brought him unstuck. Oddly, for such a well-known bushranger, many of the accounts of his life and career are light on details and plagued with inconsistencies. In the early 1860s, Peisley's…

Steve Hart: An Overview

It's hard to believe now, but there was a time when Stephen Hart was once one of the most infamous bushrangers in Australia. Now he is often thought of as no more than an also-ran, an afterthought, the "other Kelly". According to an article in the Evening News, Sydney, 14 February 1879, "Ned Kelly is…

Spotlight: Ned Kelly Interviewed

[The following report was published in Cootamundra Herald, 3 July 1880. While some minor errors pepper it, this is one of the few times we get a somewhat choerent glimpse of Ned Kelly's motivations at Glenrowan. ~ AP] --- NED KELLY INTERVIEWED. --- After the house had been burnt, Ned Kelly's three sisters and Tom…

Tony Richardson’s ‘Ned Kelly’ – in defence of a maligned film

In 1970 a film was released that has become infamous in Australian pop culture. It was directed by one of Britain's most acclaimed stage directors, featured music by some of America's greatest country musicians of the time, was written by a man who would in later years become known as the authoritative voice on the film's subject (who himself had an illustrious career in Australian television), and starred one of the greatest rock 'n' roll stars of all time. Yet, despite all of these ingredients that should amount to a legendary film, somehow it created the exact opposite reaction to what was expected and it seems to boil down to two words...