July 30

Parent Page

Writer’s Festival

Hi Parents,

Thank you so much for helping us with our bushranger questions and because you did so well we have decided to ask for another favour!

Go to the LITERACY page and read your child’s narrative. Can you then give us an advice sandwich by leaving a comment. Tell us two things we did well (bread), followed by an area we could improve on (cheese)!

Thanks for taking the time to help us once again,

5/6 Baker


Wondering Questions

Hi Parents,

This week we have turned the tables and have set some Home Learning of your own! That’s right, your child is going to be on your back until you have completed your task, so get cracking!

Seriously though, we would love you to help us with our Inquiry topic titled, ‘Heroes or Villains?’ We have some questions we thought you could help us to answer about bushrangers. We thought this would be a good way to connect you with what we are doing in the classroom. Therefore your task is as follows:

1. Find your child’s question in the list below

2. Answer this question by posting a comment on this page (your child can show you what to do!)

3. You may need to do a little research for some of these questions, but they’re not too hard we promise!!!


Thank-you for helping us,

5/6 Baker




Max- Why was Ned’s family so poor?

Angus– Why was Ned Kelly the most famous bushranger in his gang?

Zac- How did they get the name bushrangers?

James- How old were Ned Kelly’s siblings?

Lili- How did Ned Kelly make his amour before anyone could find the Kelly gang?

Lara- Who was the last bushranger?

Amy- Who was the last ever bushranger?

Charlotte- Who came up with the term bushranger?

Will- Why was Ned Kelly’s family so poor?

Georgia- Why did Ned Kelly decide to form the Kelly gang?

Bianca- Were there bushrangers in other countries?

Scarlett- Why is Ned Kelly so famous?

Jonty- How many bushrangers were there?

Alyssa- Why is Ned Kelly so famous?

Ed- How did the fire start that killed Dan Kelly?

Luke- What guns did bushrangers use?

Clarissa- What is being a bushranger all about?

Millie- How did the Kelly gang make the armour in such little time?

Ruby– Who was the first bushranger?

Michaela- Why is Ned Kelly so famous?

Katherine- Did other members of the Kelly gang kill anyone?

Jemma- What did local police think of bushrangers?

Ben- Why did the police not like the Irish e.g. the Kelly’s?


 How can we help you at home?


Dear Parents,

Please leave any comments on this page of things you would like to see on our blog e.g. videos of teaching sessions, student work, other classroom updates etc. I am very open to suggestions and would like to use this blog as a tool to assist you at home with your child.


Miss B



51 thoughts on “Parent Page

  1. Rob Anderson

    Why was Ned Kelly so famous?

    The main reason Ned Kelly is the standout bushranger in Australia’s history is because of the suit of armour he built to protect himself. This armour served him quite well at the seige of Glenrowan, where he no doubt would have been killed except for the armour. (He ended up with 28 gunshot wounds in his legs which were not protected).

    He then went on to be acptured and later hanged which added to his fame.

    There is also a questionable reason that he robbed and gave money to the poor. This possible myth added to his fame. Having a ‘gang’ rather than being a sole bushranger also captured the publics imagination a bit as well.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Thanks Rob for helping us with our investigation about bushrangers! Thanks for being the first parent and Dad to help us out! I want to send you a Freddo Frog but I’m scared Scarlett might eat it on the way home!

  2. Suzanne Caruana

    Who was the last ever bushranger?
    Well, many considered the Kelly gang to be the last bushrangers but they later discovered that the last bushrangers were actually Jimmy and Joe Governor and Jacky Underwood!

  3. grace giudice

    what guns did bushrangers use?
    Bushrangers typically used pistols, revolvers and rifles. The collection of guns grew within the Kelly gang, as, each time they held up a bank, for instance, they would steal weapons. By the time Ned Kelly was captured, the gang had an impressive collection of guns.

  4. Josie Roker

    Why was Ned Kelly’s family so poor?
    Ned’s father John Kelly was an ex-convict who was sent from Ireland to Tasmania for stealing pigs. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom 7 years later, he went to Melbourne, then traveled towards the Donnybrook/Kilmore area and worked as a carpenter. After getting married, he made a living farming and gold mining. But he ended up in jail many times for horse /cow stealing. With a wife and 8 children, he could not afford to feed them. When he died in 1866, Ned, then just 12 years old, was left as the oldest boy to support the family. He however turned to a life of crime, charged many times for assault/highway robbery/bushranging/bank robbery and horse/cow stealing. He then spent the next years in and out of jail, unable to support his mum and brothers/sisters before being hanged in 1880 at the age of 25.

  5. Denise Birrell

    Why was Ned Kelly the most famous bushranger in his gang?

    I think because he designed and made the armour that he and his gang wore which made them stand out from all others and has become a famous icon in history!
    Also because he was hanged and capital punishment is no longer part of our penal system, it is something that we remember about his death and the grisly nature of it.

  6. siobhan beaney

    the fire started that killed dan kelly was by the policemen because they set
    fire to the hotel that had dan in it

  7. Dominic Cannata

    Did other members of the Kelly gang kill anyone?

    There is no evidence to suggest that the other members killed anyone. Ned claimed personal responsibility for killing all 3 policeman at Stringybark creek. Whether this is the case or not is unknown because McIntyre (a policeman who escaped the shootings at Stringybark Creek) witnessed him shoot only one of the three who died. It is possible that Ned made the claim in order to shield one or more of the other gang members. In any case, all other gang members were later killed by the police so they were never tried or convicetd for murder.

  8. Nadia Tomarchio

    Who was the last bushranger?
    Many actually think that Ned Kelly was the last of the bushrangers but as late studies showed that Jimmy and Joe Governor were really the last.

  9. Sue Ryan

    Why did Ned Kelly decide to form the Kelly Gang?

    The Kelly gang was formed to change their world for the better. Ned’s father died when he was only 12 and Ned’s family were poor. He also held deep resentment towards the British. Faced with poverty he started stealing horses when he was 16. Later Ned and his brother Dan together with their mates Joe Byrne and Steve Hart formed the Kelly gang.

    One day they came across some police camped at Stringy Bark Creek. Ned thought the police tried to kill Dan so a fight broke out and Ned shot the police dead. A reward for the Kelly gang started at 2000 pounds (which would later rise). For two years together with the help of local support the Kelly gang dodged police and began robbing banks (shooting no-one). At each robbery Ned gave one of his hostages a letter explaining that he shot the police in self defence and called for justice for the poor.

  10. Nancy Bendinelli

    Ned Kelly was arguably the most famous Australian bushranger. He was defiant in his treatment of the law and police, especially when he tried to take the whole town of Glenrowan as hostage. Interestingly he is considered an Australian legend despite the fact that he was an outlaw and a murderer.

    He was also famous for the armour which he wore, particularly, the “bucket” style helmet with a slit for the eyes. This has become synonomous with Ned Kelly.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Thanks Nancy, you have given us some new words to learn as well as teaching us about Ned Kelly! First person to find out what synonomous means gets a Freddo Frog!

      1. baker2012 (Post author)

        Well done Georgia! Everyone wants that Freddo! Angus was the first person to answer though as soon as I opened those doors this morning! Go you though for finding out!

  11. Brenda

    In answer to my question about how many bushrangers there were Wikipedia was very helpful……A bushranger was a thief who lived in the Australian bush. Bushrangers often stole expensive things from banks or coaches. There were more than 2000 bushrangers during Australia’s past. Most were simply criminals and thieves. A few bushrangers became famous and were seen as heroes. They are part of a long history that has men such as Robin Hood and Dick Turpin in England, or Jesse James and Billy the Kid in the US.
    Happy learning!
    Brenda Pote

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Hi Brenda, thanks so much for your response. The children have really loved giving their parents some homework!

  12. Heather Heanue

    Why was Ned Kelly’s family so poor?

    Ned Kelly’s father, John, came to Van Dieman’s land as a convict for stealing two pigs in his homeland, Ireland. Having served his sentence he came to Victoria as a free man and married Ellen Quinn in 1851. The Kelly’s were small selectors, and often the plots allocated to the farmers were too small and the soil too poor to make a living from. Often these small selectors stole cattle/horse from the wealthy squatters to survive. Times were tough in the bush, and with a large family to support, John Kelly was involved in ‘cattle duffing’, and once again in prison. John Kelly died shortly after his release, Ned was 12 years old.
    The Kelly family continued on the land, but found it difficult to make a living, and Ned having grown up in an environment of contempt for the authorities who they saw as corrupt and harassing, drifted into horse and cattle stealing himself. The Kelly family constantly received unwanted police attention, and with Ned and his brothers in gaol or on the run continued to struggle to support themselves.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Thanks Heather for your response! The Kelly’s didn’t have a great start to their life in Australia!

      First person to post the difference between a settler and a selector will take home a Freddo! That’s if I don’t eat it first!

  13. chris molino

    Bushrangers were originally referred to as runaway convicts who had the survival skills necessary to use the Australian bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities.
    The term Bushranger then evolved to refer to those who rejected social rights and privilages to take up robbery under arms as a way of life, using the bush as their base.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Thanks Chris, I know this must have been an effort for you with moving house! Much appreciated by all the students!

  14. Alyssa Bendinelli

    The difference between a settler and a selector is that a selector is a person or thing that selects something, in particular, and a settler is a person who settles in an area, typically one with no or few previous inhabitants.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Hey Alyssa good work. Tell me the difference between them in terms of the time of the bushrangers. We talked about it in reading groups!

  15. Matthew

    Why is Ned Kelly so famous?

    Ned Kelly is famous primarily for two reasons. Firstly the metal suit he created to protect himself against bullets from the police has become famous throughout the world and is entrenched in Australian folklore. Secondly he represented to many, the underdog, who generally is a person from a working class background, fighting against injustices, whether perceived or actual. This trait has become an integral characteristic of what we now regard as being Australian.

  16. Lili De Carli

    How old were Ned Kelly’s siblings when they died?
    Ned Kelly had 7 full siblings and 4 half siblings they were:
    Mary Jane Kelly born 1851 and died later that same year
    Anne Kelly born 1853 died 1874 aged 21
    Margaret Kelly born 1857 died 1896 aged 39
    James Kelly born 1858 died 1946 aged 88
    Dan Kelly born 1861 died 1880 aged 19
    Kate Kelly born 1863 died 1898 aged 35
    Grace Kelly born 1865 died 1940 aged 75
    Ellen Frost Kelly born 1870 died 1872 aged 2 (illegitimate child)
    Ellen King Kelly born 1873 died 1963 aged 90
    John King Kelly born 1875 died 1956 aged 81
    Alice King Kelly born 1878 died unknown , was unable to find out when she died.

  17. Ann

    How did the Kelly gang make the armour in such little time?
    In 1879 – the year before the Glenrowan siege and Ned’s ultimate capture – the Kelly gang began constructing the suits of armour from mouldboards, the thick metal parts of a farmer’s plough. They acquired these materials in various ways – some were bought; others were offered to them by sympathetic farmers; a few were stolen. The suits allowed the gang to walk away unharmed from close-range shooting, but they also served a less practical function: they made the gang members – Ned in particular – seem larger, more intimidating; even ghostly! So it did take a year of collecting the metal for the suits but only a couple of months to construct .

  18. Andrew Coloretti

    How did Ned Kelly make his arnour before anyone could find the kelly gang? Ned Kelly made his armour In a horseshed with foundry tools and iron in north east Victoria.

  19. Marieta Ryan

    Why did the police not like the Irish e.g. the Kelly’s?
    When the protestant British military founded and ruled the colony of New South Wales in 1788, they brought with them anti-Catholic sectarianism. eg. There were no Catholic priests allowed into Australia for the first 30 years!

    In the nineteenth century the core identity of Australia was British imperialism, loyalism to the monarchy, and Anglo-Saxon supremacy. However Irish-Catholic settlers and convicts were an increasing proportion of immigrants to Australia due to the Great Irish Famine of 1845-49 and later the transportation of Fenians (Irish rebelling against British rule in favour of an Irish Republic).

    In Victoria, the Irish were implicated (along with the Scottish) in the Eureka stockade of 1854. Hence the police (and all the British authorities) were very suspicious of the Irish and kept them under constant surveillance.

  20. Bryan mueller

    What did the local people think of bushrangers?
    Some people think that bushrangers like Ned Kelly
    Are sort of heroes because they defied the strict
    British rules (most bushrangers were Irish convicts)
    Some other people think that they were just crimals
    .The truth is somewhere in the middle(that’s what most people
    think).Most bushrangers were kind of force to become bushrangers
    Because the govemt haven’t treated them fairly or they had no money because they were convicts.

  21. Luchia

    The use of the word “bushranger” first evolved in Australia in the early 19th century.

    The first recorded use of the term bushranger was in an article in the Sydney Gazette in February 1805. The article claimed that a cart had been stopped by ” three men whose appearance sanctioned the suspicion of there being bushrangers.”

    From this time on the term was used to describe criminals who attacked people in the bush or on roads.

  22. Todd Vains

    Were there bush rangers in other countries? Yes there were. In Britain around the same time Bush Rangers went by the name of highwaymen and in the Wild West of the USA they were known as Road Agents. Essentially wherever there were large volumes of value in the form of gold or cash criminals were attracted to steal it. The term Bush Ranger is unique to Australia however the activity of stealing is not.

  23. Kath George

    Who was the first bushranger?
    The first ever bushranger was a convict named John Caesar. He arrived on the First Fleet in 1788 after being convicted of stealing £12 from a house. he was sentenced to transportation for seven years. John Caesar was of African descent, his family possibly came from Madagascar. His nickname was ‘Black Caesar’.
    On 29 April 1789 John Caesar was again tried for theft and was again sentenced to transportation, this time for life! Fourteen days after being sentenced Caesar stole a gun and supplies and escaped to the bush. He was caught 6 days later. This pattern of behaviour continued for the next 6 years with John Black escaping a further 2 times.
    Late in 1795 Caesar was with a party that was attacked by Aboriginal warriors lead by the famous Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy. Caesar wounded Pemulwuy. It was in the December of 1795 that John Black escaped from custody for the last time. He lead a gang of vagabonds and absconders into the Port Jackson area – becoming Australia’s first bushranger. Settlers were warned against supplying him with food and ammunition and in early 1796 a reward was offered for his capture – the reward was five gallons of spirits.
    On 15 February John Black Caesar was shot by John Wimbow at Liberty Plains and died after being carried to Thomas Rose’s hut.

    1. baker2012 (Post author)

      Thanks so much Kath for helping us out! Have you slept in the past couple of weeks! You are one dedicated parent, can’t wait to see the ball artwork!

  24. suziecranstoun

    Hi 5/6 Baker – well I have agonised over my decision about Ned Kelly – I can see why some people say he is a hero, but my decision is that he is a villain. I made my decision because, I believe that no matter how hard your life is or how unfair you may be treated, it is NEVER OK to take someones life. Ned Kelly did murder and due to this, I can never say he was a hero. Hope I’ve helped you make up your mind too! 🙂

  25. Brenda Pote

    I think Ned Kelly was a villain. There’s no way I could vote a murderer as a hero.

    Brenda (AKA Jonty’s Mum)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *