Why Ned Kelly Should not Be an Australian Icon

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 679 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 679|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Ned Kelly: Hero or Villain?

One man not only caused a lot of controversy but also changed Australian history forever. Ned Kelly should be considered a villain because of the terrible person he was, not only did he rob and steal but he also committed murders. This essay will discuss why Ned Kelly was considered a criminal, who he was and what he stood for, the motivation behind the crimes he committed and why he should not be an Australian icon.

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Edward or ‘’Ned’’ Kelly was an Australian outlaw who was born in 1854, Victoria. He was born to an Irish rural, family who lived in poverty and shared his childhood with twelve brothers and sisters. Ned Kelly’s father was an ex-convict and was first imprisoned for stealing horses but when released he soon after got arrested again for assaulting a chinaman. Ned Kelly stood up for other people’s rights and for the poorer people in his town. This although does not justify or an excuse for his actions and crimes he committed.

Ned Kelly is a criminal because of his actions and crimes he committed when he was still alive. Not only did he kill innocent people but he also stole and robbed multiple banks and people. For example on February 8th 1879, Ned Kelly robbed the Jerilderie bank leaving the bank £2141 poorer. But that’s not the only damage he did that day, whilst stealing the bank he also held many innocent people hostage. What kind of hero robs banks and holds people captive? Ned Kelly did the same with the robbery of Euroa’s National Bank. Him and his gang rounded up twenty-two people and locked in a storage room while they went inside to take the money, this time they left with £2260 in notes and gold. He wasn’t just a thief but a stone cold murder to, in his lifetime Kelly killed three people. Ned Kelly killed three policemen at Stringybark Creek on October 26th when Kelly’s gang ambushed the four policemen hunting them. Ned only shot three out of the four men dead as one managed to get away. With all the evidence shown this does not sound like a man who should be considered a hero.

Ned Kelly of course had to have a motivation for all these terrible crimes he chose to commit during his short lifetime. This was that he felt like the police was corrupted and victimised the poor and in particular Kelly thought that the police targeted his family. Although there was a reason that the police were keeping a close eye on the Kelly’s as they had been charged a number of times for different reasons and had caused a lot of trouble for them. However as said before this does not validate his actions. Ned Kelly could have approached and handled that situation in a completely different way that didn’t make him turn into a murder and a thief. His motivation and hatred towards the police consumed him and was one of the factors for Ned Kelly committing so many horrific crimes.

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With Ned Kelly’s record of crimes, murder and robberies he shouldn’t be remembered as someone Australian people look up to. Why should a murderer be an icon for Australia? Ned Kelly committed so many shocking crimes and actions that caused many families and people great grief. He killed innocent people that were only trying to protect the town and themselves. Australia doesn’t shouldn’t have someone who is so fixated on revenge that he kills and will do anything to get want he wants. Australians need brave, courageous and people that do good in their life. Some say that Ned Kelly was ‘’nothing else but a murderer’’ and that he ‘’had no respect, heart or Australian spirit’’. If someone was to kill three policemen today would we praise him and look up to him as an icon? No, so why should we? Ned Kelly was nothing but the exact opposite of how Australian should be.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Why Ned Kelly Should Not be an Australian Icon. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
“Why Ned Kelly Should Not be an Australian Icon.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Why Ned Kelly Should Not be an Australian Icon. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Why Ned Kelly Should Not be an Australian Icon [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from:
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