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If you went into any Australian classroom and asked if anyone knew who Ned Kelly was chances are youd get an answer of something like mm yeah that bushranger who had the steel bucket on his head who got shot Not many people know the real story but it is an intriguing one Ned Kelly has over the years been described as a hero one of the most romantic figures in history the father of our national courage an Australian icon To a person with no knowledgeable background of Ned Kelly he would be seen as exactly that The real truth is though Ned Kelly was a thief He held ordinary people hostage and shot and killed policemen The reasons to why he has been glorified in such a way to be called a hero have been one of the great controversies of all time Ned Kelly was born into a life that was surrounded by crime Before he was born his parents were sent from Ireland on a convict ship to Australia for committing petty crime He entered life in 1854 in Victoria and attended school at Avenel until age 12 when his father died Neds family was poor and were forced to own land as selectors where they were issued a piece of land to be paid off while they were living there The land was small and the soil wasnt good enough to grow to make a living Many of the selectors resorted to stealing horses and cattle from the rich squatters and Ned Kelly was no exception At age sixteen he was convicted of receiving a stolen horse and served time in jail for three years In 1878 Neds mother Ellen was convicted of wounding a policeman by shooting him in the wrist Ned and his brother Dan were mistakenly accused of attacking the same policeman so they fled to the bush where they formed the Kelly Gang
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