Was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?

Case Study Overview

Students investigate how people can interpret one set of facts very differently to come up with contrasting ‘Ned as hero’ and ‘Ned as villain’ interpretations. They then put Ned Kelly on trial for the event that set his fate — the killing of the three police at Stringybark Creek in 1878 by becoming witnesses, presenting evidence and being challenged about that evidence. In doing so they confront one of the icons of Australian history and decide for themselves the place of that person in their own sense of their national identity.

An interactive entitled, Kelly country — the race to Glenrowan, is also available for this case study. This module is currently under re-development due to FLASH being discontinued. 

Case Study unit of work inquiry structure (pdf)

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity 1: What is a hero? What is a villain?
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 3: Ned Kelly biography
    Some facts about the life of Ned Kelly
  • Activity 4: Different representations of Ned Kelly
    Examining three different assessments of Ned Kelly
  • Activity 5: Putting Ned Kelly on trial
    Investigating the most important moments in Ned Kelly’s life and examining witnesses
  • Activity 6: Reflection
    Creating a museum display and conducting further research

About the Interactive

This module is currently under re-development due to FLASH being discontinued. 

Kelly Country — the race to Glenrowan
It’s 1878 and Ned Kelly is racing Constable McIntyre to Glenrowan. If Kelly gets there first he will escape the siege; if McIntyre gets there first he will capture Kelly. See if you can use your knowledge of the past to change it!

For Primary & Secondary Students

• The Australian Colonies

• Making a nation

Case Study Resources

  • Teacher Guide
  • Print Resources (PDF)
  • Downloadable High Quality Video
  • STUDIES Magazine Unit
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