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Essay on a True Hero: Ned Kelly

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Ned Kelly was born in 1854 in the small town of Beveridge. Sadly, he was hanged in 1880 at the young age of 25. Ned’s difficult childhood led him into the life of a bushranger. There is no doubt that Ned was a hero. Ned showed extreme bravery, generosity and his self-sacrificing actions is what made him a hero.

Ned was respected by many after he bravely dived into a river to save a drowning lad, without thinking of his own safety (Wilkinson, 2002, p.10). This could have cost Ned his life as he did not know how to swim. The family of the drowning lad where so grateful, they made Ned a green silk sash. Ned showed even more bravery when he threatened Constable Fitzpatrick by saying, “If you ever touch my sister again, there’ll be a bullet in your head” (Wilkinson, 2002, p.32). This also showed his loyalty and dedication to protecting his family. Ned’s brave actions are one of the reasons he was a hero.

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It was not only Ned’s brave actions which made him a hero, but also the self-sacrifices he made to help others. One of his sacrifices was for a loved one. At the time Ned’s mother was in trouble with the law and he was willing to surrender if his mother was freed (Wilkinson, 2002, p.39). Another instance was when the Kelly Gang was at the hotel, where they found themselves in a shootout. Ned wearing his homemade armor came out towards the police, shooting to protect the Kelly gang, but sadly he was shot in the legs and captured. These are only two of the sacrifices he made, and if it wasn’t for him, many more lives could’ve been lost and destroyed.

His generosity was appreciated by the citizens of Greta. Ned had stolen from the rich and given to the poor, even though he had needed the money for his family. He would also share money with friends and family within the area (Wilkinson, 2002, p.81). Ned, Dan, Joe and Steve made their way towards Bullock Creek, where they had hoped to earn enough money to appeal to Ellen’s sentence. Ned was very kind and generous in his days, and these generous actions helped the people of Greta start a new life.

Ned Kelly was a very brave and caring man but not everyone saw that in him, as after all, he was a bushranger. He continued to help people in need and didn’t deserve the punishment he received, especially at such a young age. Even though Ned died so young and so long ago, we all still consider him a hero.


  1. Carole, W. (2002). Black Snake. Newtown: Black Dog Books.
  2. State Library Victoria. (n.d.). Retrieved from State Library Victoria Web Site:
  3. Wangaratta. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wangaratta Web Site:
  4. Wilkinson, C. (2002). Black Snake. Newtown: Black Dog Books.

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Essay on a True Hero: Ned Kelly. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
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