Where Ned Kelly was Born?
update May 2018
Research by Dr Maikel Annalee
and Bill Denheld - a page at
This Google Earth map above was prepared as an overview to the following
story. On 9 May it was reported the property known as Deloraine as
previously owned by the Laffan family has been sold for
AU $200 million. On the property on the other side of the rail
line, shown as Arrowsmith, part of the current 'Camoola property' where Ned Kelly was born.
At the time this webpage was being prepared 2005 and shown to local
historical societies, it was already spoken
that unless the local communities take notice of history and research,
the place where Ned was born will end up in someone's back yard.
If the current owners of Camoola, on which the Arrowsmith block is situated
is sold just as Deloraine has been, we can be pretty sure the little land
mark of where Ned said he was born will be lost forever. It was always
thought that any new Ned Kelly Centre as an alternative location to
Glenrowan, should be built on top of Mount
Fraser, as it was here that Ned would have climbed a top while rabbit-ing
with his Quinn cousins and neighboring 'Gorman' mates, and taking in the grand views
for miles around, just as Hume and Hovell had done when they first came by
to observe for the very first time Port Phillip Bay in the far distance.
Where was Ned Kelly Born?
1 July 2005
Some say - no one knows, why can't we simply leave it at that?
The problem with that is in years to come they will say 'we' knew
his birthplace was over there three km further north, and now they've
build a free way over it. As reported at the Kilmore Historical
Society monthly meeting, Maikel Annalee’s research narrows down the most
Historians have tended to agree Ned Kelly was born at Beveridge Victoria
some 36 Km North East of Melbourne. A land mark hill there is Mount
Fraser, previously in the 1800's (Mount Bland or Big Hill). From all accounts,
historians have accepted this hill near where Ned was born as described
in various publications, but we now narrow that down by some 3 kilometers to
a place we call the Arrowsmith square mile block that was rented by
James Quinn, Ned Kelly's grand father.
Although somewhat obscure, the real birth place of Ned is related to the
location where the new Kelly couple John and Ellen first lived, (but not accurately
recorded). However, from city newspaper reports of the day (after the Kelly Gang’s
capture), plus Mansfield news paper proprietor G. Wilson Hall, who
wrote what is a most definitive account of the Kelly saga ‘The Outlaws of
the Wombat Ranges’ 1879, are the first accounts and should be strictly adhered
to unless better information comes available.
image from a vantage point on the old Quinn property would have been
very familiar to the families. Ned's birth place is within short distance
in this view. Codes to this view are-
1 D E,
Mount Fraser known as Big Hill,
Where Ned was born, -between the two trees is where the little shack
-house that John Red Kelly had built stood.
2C- Only just shows the little hill Ned said he was born near while
traveling on the train back to Melbourne after his capture. 3G-
The Quinn homestead still stands behind the tree right.
4F- Right behind the photographer is the little plaque in memory of
Mary Jane Kelly.
not many records.
The most illustrious of all books on the subject ‘Ned Kelly’ The
Authentic Illustrated History, by Kelly historian Keith McMenomy, he
writes, in essence ;
" the new couple, John Kelly and Ellen
Quinn started their married life as ‘virtual houskeepers’ . John Kelly
was a handy carpenter and James Quinn allowed him to erect a dwelling
for his wife and himself on a portion of their land. They lived in a
little hut near the Merri Creek on the Quinn property. It was here that
two children were born. ‘Mary Jane’ and ‘Anne 1853’. Mary died when she
was only six months old."
This little plaque is in memory of Mary Jane Kelly.
1850. Daughter of John and Ellen.
About this time John Kelly was lured to the goldfields and he made some
money. On his return he purchased a property on the southern slope of
Big Hill just near where the quarry now operates.
It is said this property of 41 acres had numerous buildings on it. In
1854 they bought another ½ acre town allotment and sold the 41 acres.
This indicates John and Ellen still lived on the Quinn property.
At this time Ellen was expecting another child.
There is a possibility Ellen went to her
parents house * for the birth, makes
the exact location of the occasion uncertain.
June 1855.* Writes McMenomy.
(* on the Quinn rented block we refer to as the Arrowsmith square mile)
Another version, according to Kelly historian Ian Jones, he writes in
his book ‘Ned Kelly, A Short Life’, in essence ;
‘John’ had built a
rental house on a ½ acre town allotment on the southern flank of Big
Hill (Mt Fraser). It was here that Ned was born Dec 1854 with the help
of midwife Mrs. David Gorman, who lived on the eastern flank of the
hill. ( actually it was
old Mrs. Mary Gorman mother of David and she lived on the eastern bank
of Merri Creek a fair way from Mt Fraser)
have two different and contradictory accounts of both dates and
place. No doubt the absence of recorded proof has allowed varied
versions to be canvassed and we may never know the whole truth. We can however
examine all the information available and listen to handed down local
oral history as well. More often it is very close to the mark.
From an oral history point of view this seems to have been ignored to date. There
are still local families that will tell you Ned was born over
there, along that road is where the Kellys traveled to get to town,
they lived over there, but no one seemed to take it all too seriously. This is no criticism, as the
story is very complex. The
information is however only recently being unraveled, and it is hoped it is not too
late to preserve what should have recognised as important Heritage sites
Our primary sources for the following information comes from Mr and Mrs
Bill Laffan and family, descendants of the Gorman family, Gary Dean,
newspaper reports, books by Ian Jones, Keith McMenomy, who primarily
used G. Wilson. Hall’s account of 1879, and Maikel Annalee who brought
it all together.
Records regarding the young couple - John and Ellen Kelly -
1. they had two children on Quinn’s leased property. ( Why not
Ned as well ?)
2. John Kelly had built a dwelling described as a ‘snug little
hut’ on a corner of Quinn’s land.
( G W Hall 1879)
From The Age news paper, 29th June 1880, after Ned was captured at
Glenrowan, he was on the train heading south to Melbourne. When he
approached Beveridge he noted to the officer, police, guard and
“look across there to the left, do you see a little Hill over there? The
officer nodded, - that was where I drew my first breath".* Ned was lying on a mattress and may not have been able to look out the
window, but he knew where he was, the next station was Beveridge.
Remember the train is heading south. Big Hill or Mt Fraser is on the
right. * The Age 29th June 1880,
Note, the quote from Alex C. Castles book ' Ned Kelly's last
days', as Ned was on his way to Melbourne
- being whisked away by the authorities to be locked up for weeks,
Castles has this quote on P 91 as
“look across there to the left, do you see a little Hill over there? The
officer nodded, - that was where I was born 28 years ago".
( Not sure the primary source used for this )
However both Jones and McMenomy have this
referring to when Ned was on his way up to Beechworth one month later,
and is erroneous
as on that occasion Ned said pointing to the little hill
"That's where I was born - 28
years ago", by Jones referring to Mt Fraser on the
left as the little hill.
The important point is this, - it was when Ned was on his way to Melbourne
said - look to the left, do you see a little hill over there? that was
where I drew my first breath. With this mistake perpetuated
in contemporary print, -continues confusion as to where Ned was born.
It's always much better to have oral history supported by documented
history at a point in time.
4. The Gorman family and the Quinn’s were neighbors on the Merri
Creek. The Quinn's lived on a one square mile block known as Arrowsmith.
James Quinn had sub leased this 640 acres adjoining Gorman’s land.
N. Arrowsmith had leased it to a chap called Cameron who
later subleased it to Quinn. Quinn had a growing family and must
have had an adequate dwelling to house his family. To date it is not
known exactly where this Arrowsmith/Quinn family home stood, but most
likely on the western slope down to the Merri Creek, and probable within
eye sight of the Gorman’s establishment to the southeast only one km
away. Old Mrs. Mary Gorman lived here with her children and she had been
midwife to Ned’s birth. As Mary lived only a short distance from the
Kelly couple, it would be unlikely Ellen would have gone to the Gorman
establishment for the birth of Edward Kelly.
5. On the Arrowsmith rented block, John Kelly builds his ‘snug
little hut’ recorded to be towards ' a corner of Quinn's land
holding'. This is supported by local knowledge passed down through
Laffan’s pioneering family. The Laffan land now includes the Red Barn
Farm which shared access to a laneway so named Red Barn Lane. A descendant
of Red Barn Farm was Mrs. Francis O’Connor now 90 years of
age, and she remembers as a child her family talked about the Kellys using Red
Barn Lane to get to Beveridge town for groceries. Apparently Red Barn
lane was so named because there was a barn painted bright red
situated right on the laneway. Thank you to the Laffan family for this
valuable information. ( Now not ignored)
Laffan pointed out the ‘little hill’ that can be clearly seen from
the Laffan property as near where Ned was born. Both Bill and
his old uncle Owen Laffan (95 years old) confirm this information. Owen points
towards the Quinn's old home end, but as during our search we could find no building remains
near there, we believe in higher ground theory as the best place to build a
dwelling. The image below takes in a view from Red Barn Farm on the
Laffan property looking East to N.
shows the ‘little hill’ left and a large pair of large Red gum trees that identify
the spot where a building once stood. The clump of trees behind the
‘ little hill ’ is where Quinn built his homestead after he purchased the
land in 1856. ( and after Ned was born )
big tree (centre right) there is solid evidence of a dwelling. This
evidence is a C shaped pile of stones ( on their own ) on the high
ground. Near the base of the tree is a rough stone pitcher type floor
synonymous with a dairy. Gary Dean confirms a possible row of cow stalls
marked by post holes. Many buried metal objects litter the site
synonymous with heavy metal bolt fastenings used to build a shed shelter
or dairy building.
While the fireplace stones are not obvious to the untrained eye, it was
Gary Dean’s experience that drew attention to the feature. An old
rusting drum occupies the C shaped hearth. The drum dumped there many
years ago, has little to do with this story and is from modern times.
Seen here in perspective, a hut site in the fore ground, a ‘dairy’ site
under the big tree, and in the distance about 290 odd meters away is the
‘little hill’. This exploratory work was carried out at the time of the
Australia day visitation 2005.
above shows A, B, C, D Between A and D is where the hearth opening
was. There is no indication of a door way step or veranda, but Gary has
prepared an approximate floor plan footprint suggesting it was not a
small hut but rather a dwelling.
Nearby is a water trough of the type used back before the turn of the
It was a hollowed out log with long bolts to hold the ends together. It
would be a good 600 mm in diameter at one end and the blacksmith’s
square bolt and plate are testimony to craftsmen ship of by gone days.
Gary spotted the trough in the distance.
It must be very old. An absolute wonder that it had not been
destroyed by fire in the past.
The blacksmith’s square bolt and washer suggests much earlier than
1880’s. However expert dating may reveal it belonged to the time of
first occupation of the land ?
At the Laffan - Red Barn Farm site, Maikel points to the distant Red
Barn Lane - entry from the Quinn / Arrowsmith block.
perspectives make everything look extremely far away, the whitish
line is near the laneway. As these laneways were marked on parish
plans long ago, they still exist as potential road reserves. Red
Barn Lane separates the northern end of Arrowsmith’s block and the
newly acquired blocks of Quinn’s 710 acres.
Together with the Arrowsmith rented land, Quinns holdings were 1350
acres of dairy farm.
When the Merriang Road construction threatened
to cut parts of his land in two, he kicked up a huge fuss and got
compensated, but in 1864 sold out and moved to a new venture of
20.000 acres on the banks of the King river above Moyhu Victoria
they called Glenmore Station. It is not known when the Arrowsmith
This map location is 3km North East of Mt Fraser at Beveridge town.
Ned and the Federation of Australia
born at the time of Eureka -
Kelly was one of the first to draw a line in the sand against
The Australian Natives Association,
ANA a co-operative, was formed as a Friendly Society in1871. ANA rose to
support Native born Australians who felt de- valued and marginalized by the
British autocracy. (in their own land) As a group, ANA was to bring change
towards an egalitarian society that honoured Australian-ness.
The founding member of ANA was Samuel Winter who also owned the Melbourne
Herald around 1871.
Like many native
born Australians, Ned Kelly would have been a great advocate for ANA.
The family of David
Gorman and his brother John Ambrose Gorman were direct neighbours to the Kellys at
Wallan East Vic where the Kelly children grew up. John Ambrose had a son
Emanuel James who was about the same age as Edward Kelly and went to the same
school at Beveridge. Years later E J Gorman moved to Berrigan Southern NSW, and
he was foundation member of the Berrigan branch of the Federation League
Australasia. He was
the convener and chairman for the first Federation meetings at Berrigan and
Corowa in 1893.
mother Mrs. Mary Gorman had been midwife to Ned Kelly’s birth and most
likely the other Kelly children as well. The Gormans and the Kellys were
linked by their Irish native born spirit.
At the time of the Kelly uprising, like many of their country folk, they
would have been quite appalled by what was happening in their country by way
of corruption, injustices and would have supported any moves for a fairer
society. Was it therefore 'not surprising' that ANA and the
Federation League gained a lot of support from battlers for a better
parliament and a Federation for the Australian colonial states.
Of particular interest, -
that ANA and the Federation League (quite separate organisations) were
represented throughout all districts of NSW and Victoria and the other
states as well. There was a time towards the end of the eighteen eighties that the
notion for Federation began to wane, but ANA and its members kept that interest
alive (for about six years) leading up to the inaugural meeting at Berrigan
in 1893 and Corowa.
Interestingly, both ANA and the Federation League organisations were
initially led by
fair minded Australian born (Irish) like Gorman and Winter
families*, and undoubtedly very aware and perhaps sympathetic to Ned's
cause. However, while Ned Kelly would not succeed in his republican stance,
he may have unwittingly played a part in the move towards a Federation for
Australia. Some will say this is a long bow to draw, but a string of
connection does exist.
* A 'son' of David Gorman marries a 'daughter' of Joseph
Winter. (See diagram below)
Outlawed, the Kelly gang survived for twenty months because they had many
friends around Victoria and Southern NSW. At Jerilderie, only 35 miles from
Berrigan, Ned delivered what is now known as his 'Jerilderie letter' of protest
but it was not published by the authorities till 50 years later in fear of further unrest like that of Eureka
rebellion in 1854. The fifty six page letter with mutterings for a
republic for North East Victoria showed an underlying unrest amongst the
many country folk.
It was reported by the ANA Berrigan branch in 1880 that more than 100 new
branches had been formed during that year. Was it sheer co-incidence this
was the year Ned was hanged ? There was groundswell support for a fairer
political society and ANA pushed ahead to bring about change. They wanted a peoples
voice in a new Parliament, but it took a further 13 years to get ground
swell support when the first meeting was called at Berrigan 1893 and final
Federation in Melbourne 1901.
ANA played an important role in the push for Federation. ANA was a non
sectarian non political organisation that gave us Australia Day, the
Wattle flora emblem on our coat of arms as well as native fauna.
The portrait drawing below is of Maikel Annalee.
The image suggests how the Australian 'coat of arms' could have
better meaning if it honoured our spiritual traditions.
connection to the inaugural meetings for a Federation of Australia is
real and not imaginary.
Concept image by
Bill Denheld, as an entrant to the Archibald Prize 2005
This Australian 'coat of arm ' here
represented by 'wattle blossom' flora and Fauna on the Eureka
A fair go, star left -
1854 Eureka - We will remember them -
The wattle branch 'notes' read; top left -
The Quinn's and the Gormans are next door neighbours at Wallan East.
Ellen Quinn &John Kelly marry and live on Quinn's leased land. John &
Ellen build a snug little hut on Quinn's land. 3 children born there,
Mary, Anne, Edward (Ned) Kelly.
Lower left branch reads; John Kelly builds houses for Gorman at
Avenal. John Kelly dies at Avenal, leaving Ned the eldest male in the
family. Ellen Kelly and six children move to Greta. N.E Vic. Ned and
family struggle to survive.
Central left branch; David Gorman's brother John had 8 sons.
Mrs. Mary Gorman is midwife to Kelly children born at Wallan East.
moves to Avenal and employs John Kelly. The eigth son E.J. Gorman moves to the
Berrigan NSW, is foundation member of the 'Federation League
Right hand branches;
Australian Natives Association Co-Op formed 1871.
Samuel Winter is foundation member of A.N.A. Melbourne 1871
Ned Kelly tries to publish his petition
for protest at Jerilderie N.S.W. In 1880, the year Ned was
hanged A.N.A. Berrigan reports more than
100 new branches opened. Berrigan branches of
ANA and Federation League initiate in augural meeting for Federation
at Berrigan and the next at Corowa in 1893.
edited 28 July 2007, regarding Gorman family information.
The following articles report on the research of Dr Maikel Annalee.
Today few realize the original penal colony grew with the gold rushes,
into a 'Mecca' for individual settlers from many Nations. The Irish,
whether transported or emigrant; whether indentured or free, were
considered by some as Australia's first underclass 'ethnic' group. The
promise of a fresh start for all, became, as the aboriginals soon
realized, a promise of some being more equal than others.
Here were the seeds of a social justice struggle that is still alive
today. From the goldfields of Ballarat, Victoria in 1854, the willing
sacrifice of Eureka has been the
wellspring for our growth to nationhood despising the 'bunyip'
aristocracy of a privileged few, Edward Kelly was one of the first to
draw a line in the sand for the native-born. His unjust execution
in 1880, was matched by the call of the Australian Natives
Association, for the separate colonies to create one nation. Then,
looking back to the date of the first settlement, they initiated
Australian Natives Day, our current Australia
In this globalized 21st
century, our nation needs to remember and respect, our roots in this
land to reclaim a sense of natural justice that transcends political
agendas. To recognize where we've come from, so we can encounter our
future with a spirit 'fearless, free and bold'. In 2005, the
150th anniversary of Ned's birth, it's surely time for we, as people
from many nations, to accept and honour his wish for the land of his
birth and execution.
So we can come to understand
ourselves as a nation, founded on the sacrifice of individuals with a
fearless 'con-science', a free mind and a bold heart. It is also
affirmation of faith and a belief in a universal identity, which
humanity has yet to successfully define.
Native-born Ned saw this and gave voice
to his concerns in his writings. Listen carefully to his prophetic
voice. It makes for some startling revelations!
Maikel Annalee 17 March 2005
Native Sons Association
logo inspired by the cross of Eureka.
Native Sons Association
advocate Maikel Annalee launches a
petition to have the true flag of Eureka, recognized by both houses of
Parliament in Canberra. The
petition was launched at Glenrowan on the 125th year Kelly Siege commemoration weekend (2July05) by true
blue Eurek ians - Gary Dean and Val D'Angri. Their mutual paternal
Grandmother was Anastasia Withers who was one of the ladies at Eureka to
originally sew up the flag. Val is curator of the
original flag. The petition will be
circulated widely. It is hoped the
flag will one day fly at
motto for A.N.S.A
who believes Ned said these words when he was on the gallows - 11
So it’s come to this:
YOU CAN'T KEEP THE
PEACE BY INJUSTICE; YOU CAN ONLY KEEP JUSTICE IN PEACE.
At the launch of the petition seen here are , centre Val D'Angri
in her 1850's historic costume, front left, Dr Maikel Annalee, Gary
Dean, Eureka Smith ( song writer balladeer) all backed by the Kelly
sympathisers on stage in front of the only original replica Eureka Flag Val
The launch was held at the Buffalo Mountain Wines- Glenrowan.
The old original
R.S.L. Memorial Hall which has been beautifully restored
proprietor Neil Marsh. Following this historic event, former Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria , Prof John Harbor Phillips
gave a splendid account of the Kelly saga leading to Ned Kellys
hanging. This was then followed by Chewing the Fat, a discussion with
historian Ian Jones. It was a great event.
proud lady present was Dotty, she is great great grand daughter of Ann
Kelly. ( with the red hat)
sympathisers reunion was attended by more than 90 all crammed into the
smallish area of the local pub where Gary gave a convincing talk about
all those claims and identifications made regarding Dan Kelly and Steve
Harts escape from the day of the siege up until present day. But like
Gary said, even with
very compelling evidence of these men surviving, it is going to
take scientific evidence to prove one way or the other.
The case of Charles Devine Tindall is inconclusive, while those of Jack
Day, Fred Layton and James Ryan, are yet to be determined. The recent
submission to exhume the remains in the Greta Cemetery is absolutely
uncalled for and ridiculous as the two bodies were never buried in the
cemetery in the first place. It is more important to ascertain who those people were who were making
the claims and disprove or prove them.
Gary has written to the
Victorian Coroner to denounce the Paul Tully exhumation request on the
two bodies found in the Inn, which were believed to be those of Dan &
Other new work that drew
interest at the 125th Reunion was a slide show ' Where Ned was
born' . Maikel ran through the picture slides, however time and noise in
the busy pub by that time forbid his talk achieving point by point
clarity, It is posted on this page for the first time .
past 6 months or so, Maikel has been making some startling revelations
regarding our historic roots. His aim is merely to correct some
fundamental misunderstanding of our National being, and a matter
of correcting history. The fact that the original Eureka flag could not be
flown in Canberra because it is not officially recognized indicates what is
wrong with this country, he said. And addressing the
sympathisers reunion, for that reason Eureka and Kelly are still
misappropriated and deserve to be hoisted to a higher plane. With thousands of published articles on these
subjects, it is most important to correct historic in-accuracies.
I think a most poignant example to date is the connection of Ned
to the Federation of Australia. It is surprising no one has seen this
before? The obvious answer, nobody looked and some don't want to
see. Its often like this, or like that, and but rarely
really right. Reading the latest Kelly book release by late Alex Castles - Ned Kelly's
Last Days you will come to the conclusion that the way Ned and his boys
were handled by the authorities and the Government of the day is,- was a
National disgrace. Not only was the
whole man hunt for the Kelly gang illegal, the truth was covered up for
political advantage as elections were underway, it was all about
politics and money.
For those unfamiliar with the words of Ned Kelly's Jerilderie letter
of 1879 ,
Maikel sets out to allow Ned's voice be heard in the context of
present past and
11 Feb 2005
The Jerilderie Letter
For the Commemoration of the Inaugural Publishing Day of; Ned Kelly’s
‘Petition of Remonstrance’. [a.k.a. the ‘Jerilderie
Maikel Annalee uses the
Jerilderie letter to make his point.
|Ned’s voice still talks;
“Dear Sir, I wish to acquaint you with some
of the occurrences of the present, past and future.
As you are
well aware, 2004 was the sesquicentenary of Eureka’s Bloody-Sunday [3
December 1854] and as you should now know, 2005 is the sesquicentenary
of my birth. [2 January 1855] The Australian Native Sons Association
celebrated this, on Epiphany Sunday, 2 January 2005, at Beveridge,
Victoria, they further honoured my 150th birthday as the first of Eureka’s native-born
‘spiritual seeds’, and on ‘Australian Natives Day’. [now
Australia Day, 26 January]
In contrast to my execution, [11 November 1880] my nativity has passed
unremembered by most Australians. The Federal Government to its
shame, has not only ignored my birthday; but misreading my father’s
death certificate, has recorded my birth, (on its Cultural and Tourism
website), as being June 1855. No wonder authors such as Peter
Carey, consider they have a legitimate right, to call their fiction,
Such present dishonour is a pale reflection, of the past treachery of
that lying scab ‘Living’, pronounced 'Lie ving' who,
'lie’ ving up to his name, completely broke his promise to publish the
document I left with him at Jerilderie on 10 February 1879.
I knew he
would not, for my integrity was to be fully vindicated, in my lifetime
and that of my contemporaries, by the manner of my capture,
conviction, execution and my prophecy of an equality of man-made
justice, [i.e. death] for the presiding judge.
Since my manuscript was donated to the State Library of Victoria and
published on their website, [November 2000] there have been many
reproductions of my words; but no understanding of my voice.
[particularly by Carey] The basic insult, is to suppose that I would
have to speak with Joe Byrne’s words and write with his hand, because
of my relatively short time at school.
Another insult is to suppose that this manuscript was a ‘letter’. As
you know, it begins as does this, with ‘Dear Sir’; but it quickly grew
into a ‘Petition of Remonstrance” and I did not sign it as I did with
the letter I then sent to Mr. Donald Cameron M.L.C. or later in gaol,
to His Excellency the Marquis of Normanby. ( Governor of Melbourne
Maikel Annalee, recreated the Australian Native Sons Association, to
carry on the honourable contribution of the original Australian
Natives Association, to the culture and integrity of our nation. He
has solemnly and silently promised, to set my voice free from the
foliage [verbiage] of my ‘unpruned’ [unedited] ‘tree of knowledge’.
[petition of remonstrance]
I trust you
will now listen, to my voice once again come alive.
As I dictated on 1 November 1880: “I do not pretend that I have led
a blameless life or that one fault justified another, but the public
judging a case like mine should remember, that the darkest life may
have a bright side and that after the worst has been said against a
man, he may, if he is heard, tell a story in his own rough way, that
will perhaps lead them to intimate [oops! attenuate] the harshness of
their thoughts against him and find as many excuses for him as he
would plead for himself….
I have outlived the care that curries public favour or dreads the
public frown. Let the hand of the law strike me down if it will, but I
ask that my story be heard and considered; not that I wish to avert
any decree the [man-made] law may deem necessary to vindicate
[man-made] justice, or win a word of pity from anyone…but I am a
widows son outlawed and my orders must be obeyed”, as I also obey
my ‘native con-science’ as the ‘first-born’ of Eureka’s ‘spiritual
C/- P.O. Box 69 Glenrowan Victoria 3675.
11 Feb 2005
Australia day 26 January 2005
This year marks the sesquicentenary of Ned Kelly's birth at
Wallan East on the banks of Merri Creek. On Australia Day, this year a
Commemorative Event took place to mark his birth, as the
'first-born' of Eureka's 'spiritual seed'. A linking-up of
native-born Ned's nativity, with the Australia Day celebrations,
initiated by the Australian Natives Association, will be symbolically
recreated, by the raising and flying of a hand-made replica of the
original Eureka flag near his birthplace. This was the first time
such a replica has been flown outside Ballarat and it is the only
authentic design, which has never been produced commercially. Even for
Eureka 150th celebrations - they got it wrong! It is the model for the 'ennobled'
version, now being flown atop Mt. Fraser, in honour of Ned's 150th.
Val D'Angri is the curator of the original in the Ballarat Fine
Art Gallery since 1973. She sewed the replica now there and later on
tour. She was the custodian of the replica on the Day and presented
a slide show, which provided exclusive information about the 'Cross of
Australia' on the Eureka flag. Gary Dean, the author and
researcher of the Kelly family history, graciously lead us over
the six historical sites in the township and vicinity where Ned was
Picture taken at Wallnarring station Australia day 26 Jan 2005
With just on 30
attendees, the Eureka Flag presentation and Kelly sites tour, one of
which was the place near where Ned was born, excited much interest. Mr. Owen Laffan, 94 years old
(with the hat at centre talking with Maikel) remembers the area where of the original
house of Ned's birth was located. In the background is Mount Fraser on
which Val D'Angri's beautiful replica flag was to be flown later in
the day. Included in the party were direct descendants of the
families associated with the Kelly gang. Also members of the Kilmore historical society, Kelly
historians and researchers. Val's Eureka flag history was the
unique highlight of Native Ned's Australia day remembrance. Gary Dean
led the visits to this and the other Kelly sites.
Later, after Val's illustrated talk, we visited the other Kelly sites at Beveridge near Mt Fraser.
Dctr Annalee's opening remarks centered around the connection of
Eureka and the Kelly story.
In talking about what we had all seen at the Quinn homestead site, he
as Wallan East may not be exactly where Ned was born, just as it was not where
Eureka happened. But Ned was the first-born of Eureka's 'spiritual seed'
in this area. We need to
acknowledge that, otherwise we've got a national Icon who is basically
just an outlaw, because, like those with other agendas who
misappropriated the flag, others have also misappropriated the real Kelly
I've lived with the stories as passed down through my father
and I've long felt there was something worthwhile about them. The flag will fly on Mount Fraser on certain
times of the year because we do believe there is a
connection between Eureka and Kelly. We also believe it
is all part of the Australian Federation story, we
believe it is all part of our culture and we do want to keep
that part of the connection going, but we don't want to trivialize it.
want to live in a country that has a national icon who is just
characterized as an outlaw when he was far more than that.
Hopefully this year's the sesqui - centenary (150 th) we will be able
to do, just as Val has shown, reclaim the truth of Eureka's flag and
reclaim the truth of Native Ned Unmasked and so put it together in
a way that adds to our pride in our country, in our culture and also
tell the truth. I can't think of anything better to honour the
pioneers than to finally get it right, because basically many of the
original stories have been marginalized by some. These stories that
are now being
told, whether it's about Eureka or Kelly do them an injustice and I think it's time for all
good people to come to the aid of the original story. That's why you have been
invited to come here today".
Left, Val D'Angri's moment of triumph as her beautiful and most
authentic Eureka flag takes to the wind.
This is the best replica Eureka flag ever made. The exacting
specifications took more than 3 months sewing to complete. The wool
and cotton flag was almost silent in the fierce 30 knot northerly winds
on Australia day. All hats off to both Val D'Angri and Maikel
Annalee's vision for this unique event.
Further, Please note, it was Val's great grandmother Anastasia Withers
who with Anastasia Hayes sewed up the original flag from blue dress
making* materials. For the first time ever, just recently Dctr Annalee had a fragment of
the material tested by CSIRO to *confirm this.
5 Jan 2005
inaugural flying of the
'Cross of Australia'
at Beveridge Victoria
The Cross of Australia
Contrary to common
belief, January 2nd 2005 was narrowed down as Ned Kelly's 150th birthday.
Annalee, a passionate Australian, believes the spirit of Eureka
and a fair go for all, are the values that define our nation's heritage.
In a simple flag raising, atop Mt Fraser at Beveridge, 39 km. north of
Melbourne, these values were symbolically renewed, by the flying of an
'ennobled' original conception of the Eureka flag, to be known as the
'Cross of Australia'. With the support of a representative group, who came
along to help, the Cross of Australia now flies at the landmark hill,
which overlooks the locale, where Ned, the Icon of our Australian nation,
was born and grew up.
Dctr Maikel Annalee explains
the need to review the spiritual heritage of the Eureka flag.
The following is an explanatory transcript of Maikel's speech.
Mount Fraser's volcanic cone has been a landmark since the
'dreamtime'. From it, on 14 December 1824, Hume and Hovell first saw
Port Phillip. It overlooks a landscape, that is mostly the same as, when
Ned Kelly was born and explored it, in his first nine years. His
grandparents' house, the last house built by his father, where Ned lived
with his family; the church, also school building he attended, all still
Why this flag.
This flag some may call the 'Cross of Eureka', but we should all call it the
'Cross of Australia', which on the day of battle, was taken into private
ownership and disappeared from sight. But the spirit of Eureka lived on
in children's hearts and minds, excited by the stories told about
Eureka. A prime example, of those children to grow up with that spirit, was
Ned Kelly. He was certainly one of the first, being born within a month
the 'Cross of Australia'? As a nation, we have often overlooked the
spiritual values of our heritage. The really significant points in our
history, that mark what we as Australians stand for and by which our
nation came to be. The 'Cross of Australia' marks Eureka, as our
transition to a 'native-born' spirituality, by our creation of a
uniquely spirited 'magna carta' proclamation, for natural justice. For
the right as Ned wrote, to live: " fearless,
free and bold."
Why choose this flag image? Firstly, to mark the significance
of Eureka, as our nation's transition to a 'native-born' spirituality.
*Secondly, to recognize and honour Ned as the 'first-born' of Eureka's
'spiritual seed'.*Thirdly, to make the spiritual connection of these,
with events before and after, which have been linked to them only
historically. Vinegar Hill 1798, in Co. Wexford, Ireland, nominally
became Vinegar Hill 1804, in the colony of N.S.W. But, they both made
Eureka and Ned Kelly, the spiritual foundation of our nation. Therefore,
we need to see Ned, not as an 'Iron Outlaw' or even an 'Iron Icon'; but
'unmasked'. Ned's spirit, was more than what he was inside his armour,
or indeed his armour.
Then the spirit of Eureka and the spirit of Ned connect to form a 'unity
of integrity' as the spirit of our nation.
The spirit of our uniquely 'non-conformist' Commonwealth of Australia,
is truly one of "consensus of conscience" ['con-science']. The only true
basis of a man's life, as the oath taken at Eureka clearly shows and the
'Cross of Australia' so nobly confirms.
Why fly the flag for Kelly's 150th?
flag symbolically and spiritually connects, our 'native-born' national heritage values. Such a need only
emerged, when it was clear that there was no agreed date for Ned's
birth and the historians were not doing anything to resolve it. Nor had
Eureka 150, been able to produce an 'ennobled', original conception of
the Eureka flag. So to restore honour to our nation's heritage, the
'Australian Native Sons Association', undertook the current 'Cross of
This flag will continue to fly throughout 2005, especially at other
events in Ned's life or legend, to bring back from 'outback' what should
always be 'back in' clear sight. We owe it to our children and our
children's children, that our nation's spiritual values are available
for all to share for evermore.
Dctr. Maikel Annalee can be contacted
Australian Native Sons Association, p o box 69 Glenrowan Victoria 3675 ;
2 Jan, 2004
Dctr Maikel Annalee raises the Australian Cross 2 January 2005
with Laura and Carolyn Knight looking on. Right, the flag in
The inaugural raising of the flag was witnessed by;
Lian and Werner Drutzel, Heather, Darren, Laura and Carolyn Knight, Bill
and Carla Denheld, Bill Laffan and Maikel Annalee.
below, Mt Fraser as seen from where the Kelly’s lived at Beveridge.
The flag can just be made out.
A sign on the fence, on the Melbourne side of Mt Fraser, will show
relevant information and where images can be seen. It is especially asked
that visitors do not enter the private property to get any closer to the
flag, as it causes problems with farm management and can be hazardous for
||As a matter
of interest, this azimuth image closely matches the cross on the cover
of Carboni's book,
The Eureka Stockade (1855 edition).
The azimuth image of a
cross results from viewing the sun through the nylon material chosen to
'ennoble' the Eureka flag into the 'Cross of Australia'. This is not
co-incidental as Maikel believes this azimuth image confirms both the spiritual and secular validity of the project.
While similar to the
Eureka flag, it has no separately outlined stars, overlaying the cross. Many
will see this 'Cross of Australia', as they drive along the Hume Freeway.
1 April 2005 'The
Man for Snowy River' Bush Festival.
This is an
article which was written to honour the 150th anniversary of the birth
of Ned Kelly [2.1.1855] and the 10th anniversary of 'The Man for Snowy
River' Bush Festival.
I believe our nation's honour and pride is in the passion and sacrifice
of its people and the inspiration of our pioneering spirit. There seems
to be loss of nerve nowdays about what it is to be Australian.
It's understandable given the so-called 'correctness' of politicians and
the 'history wars' of academics. My great-grandfather in the 1840's
migrated with his wife and family from Ireland to the U.S.A. But
in the 1850's as refugee from there, he brought his family to the Ovens
Plain of north-eastern Victoria. He had good view of the high country by
day and night.
Having seen the best of the old world and the new, he was clearly
impressed with the vistas of freedom and opportunity, which this land
willingly gave to its pioneers. So he stayed on. I like to think, that
his perspective is still as valid and clear today, for all who are alive
to the legend and the ride of 'The Man from Snowy River'
regards, Maikel Annalee
Stone from his book
The Man from Snowy
by Jacaranda Press.
Native Ned's Nativity Sesquicentenary and the Snowy River Ride 2005
2004, was the sesquicentenary of the Eureka Stockade. At dawn on Sunday
morning December 3 1854, at Ballarat, the spirits native to this land,
ingrained like dirt stain, into skin; inhaled like moist mist, into
lungs, were transfigured by the sacrificial deaths of miners, on the
freshly excavated mounds of their foreshadowed 'burial', diggings.
The aboriginal ancestral spirits had been disturbed, by the self-seeking
excavations of these foreign-born invaders, who, now buried in their
'new-found-land', were to be reborn as our own ancestral spirits. Reborn
in the minds of we survivors, by remembrance of their bloody sacrifice.
Unwitting martyrs, interred in this land, yet to be founded as a nation.
Their bones, nourished the aboriginal ancestral spirits. Renewing them
by being themselves renewed, in what became for we survivors, our
dreaming in this land. And from the seed of we survivors, then came
native-born bodies. Bodies who had ab-original, [from the first] native,
[home-grown] minds. Whose now ancestral memory, was of this bloody
Such is life, that there then evolved a people, who freely chose to be
one. Creating the world's first non-conformist Commonwealth. A nation
united on a single continent. Calling it in honour of its unique, fully
antipodean location: Australia.
Yet, whilst we celebrated Eureka's sesquicentenary, with justified
pride. there was no such 'official 'celebration or recognition, for
'native-born' Ned's nativity. Perhaps because, despite his legendary
exploits, no actual documentation of Edward Kelly's birth or
christening, has been kept.
perhaps because, we only want to remember the man of iron, masked in his
helmet, imaginatively immortalized in his body armour. To do so, is to
fail to see that 'native-born' Ned, unmasked and not yet in his teens,
proudly wears the green sash of his 'salvation'. Awarded by grateful
parents, for his saving their son from drowning.
Still unmasked, we later we see him, just nineteen, stripped for
a bare-knuckle outdoor fight. He won after an epic 20 rounds , making
him the unofficial boxing champion, of north-eastern Victoria. Such a
man, needs no 'iron-corset' to make him a man. His undoubted manhood,
makes him the natural choice of his peers. He symbolizes the emerging
spirit, of a new nation of native-born' Australians.
Australians understand and respect his inalienable right, after serving
almost three years in gaol, for possession of a stolen horse, to
continue to live his life authentically. He unashamedly stakes his claim
"to live fearless, free and bold." A few months after his release in
1874, he fought the actual thief. Without any armour and with only his
natural skill and strength, he made the real culprit pay a 'bloody'
ransom, for his unjust escape and Ned's imprisonment instead.
Ned having fought for family honour and natural justice and won, was
recognized, unmasked, as the living embodiment of the best qualities of
'native-born' manhood. 'Banjo' Paterson, himself native-born, would
immortalize the qualities of this image in his heroic verse: "The Man
from Snowy River". But by that time Ned had been masked and executed.
Paterson would have to make the image symbolic.
'Banjo' first published this verse in the "Bulletin" in 1890. Soon after
hearing Jack Riley's tales, of day to day life as a stockman, in the
high country of Victoria. Jack, the former draper, also told him of the
inspiration for his own 'gameness': the spirit of 'native-born' Ned. A
decade after Ned's execution, Paterson retold in his verse, not only the
epic ride of Irish-born Jack Riley. But, his undeniable admiration for
the courage of the 'native-born', like Ned.
The nameless 'stripling' is shown as the 'outsider'. not because of his
Irish ness; but because his horse doesn't fit the stereotype of having
what it takes to be a man or a horse in this land. Yet Paterson, who
rode and fell, before he ever took up the pen, knew it was bred in the
blood. So he gave full rein to his poetic imagination, in creating the
heroic and anthropic horse.
one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast,
He was something like a racehorse undersized,
With a touch of Timor pony -- three parts thoroughbred at least --
And such as are by mountain horseman prized.
He was hard and tough and wiry -- just the sort that won't say die
There was courage in his quick impatient tread;
And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye,
And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.
But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay,
And the old man said, 'That horse will never do
For a long and tiring gallop -- lad, you'd better stop away,
Those hills are far too rough for such as you."
So he waited sad and wistful -- only Clancy stood his friend --
'I think we ought to let him come', he said;
'I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end,
For both his horse and he are mountain bred.
' He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hooves strike firelight from the flint stones every
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen.' "
* We then
experience the pursuit to the mountain summit:
**"Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide;
And the old man muttered fiercely. 'We may bid the mob good day,
No man can hold them down the other side.'
When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a pull.
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full,
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
But the man from
River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.
He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat--
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
At the bottom of that terrible descent."
" He was right among the horses as as they climbed the farther hill,
And the watchers on the mountain standing mute,
Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still,
As he raced across the clearing in pursuit.
They lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met
In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals
On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet,
With the man from
River at their heels."
the battle is won:
" And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam.
He followed like a bloodhound on their track,
Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home,
And alone and unassisted brought them back."
*For sure, the
Irish-born stripling, has come to be, in the 'new world of high country
Victoria, 'the man from Snowy River'. But as Paterson's play on words
shows, "he ran them single-handed", on the reins. While his other hand,
"ply[s] the stockwhip fiercely". For Paterson's image of victory is more
than just that of the stripling. For he has, as Paterson states, just :
"followed like a bloodhound...till they halted cowed and beaten".
*And as soon as, "he turned their heads
for home, and alone and unassisted brought them back." Banjo immediately
identifies, the other 'he', whose qualities made the victory possible.
**"But his hardy mountain pony he could
scarcely raise a trot,
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur;
But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot,
For never yet was mountain horse a cur."
allows these qualities to be shared by the stripling and concludes:
*"The man from
River is a household word to-day,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride."
*In today's image-dominated world, Mel
Gibson acts like the 'high-priest' of passion and sacrifice. Whereas, in
times gone by, I listened enthralled, to my Reedy-Creek-born father's
recitation of Banjo's verse, while my imagination did the rest. He gave
me to understand, that Paterson's verse had more to it, than first meets
Orally and aurally, it was like Ned's Jerilderie Remonstrance, a
manifesto of 'native-born' aspirations, at a time when they were still
the minority, in numbers; but not in spirit. And although it may not
have been as obvious as with Henry Lawson, Paterson was always proud to
be a 'native-born' Australian. Like Ned he understood what it meant to
live, "fearless, free and bold".
Moreover, he was neither fearful nor overly sentimental, about the bush
and horses and men. "The Man from Snowy River" not only told a fine bush
story in verse. But at the same time it enabled 'Banjo' to highlight the
qualities that he knew we needed to become a nation. Whether at Eureka,
Glenrowan, Corryong or the Anzac trenches, his words ring loud and clear
for all to hear, both then and now, for as long as "the stockmen tell
Unlike classical heroic tales, the native 'mountain pony' was no 'Trojan
horse'; and a perfect match for the mountain horsemen, without armour
and dramatic masks. Their only arms, what nature gave them. This is
truly a ' brave new world', which we as a nation should celebrate and
honour as Corryong has for the last ten years. Native-born Ned would be
as proud as native-born 'Banjo' of 'The Man from Snowy River"
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