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Gaming Ned Kelly

The Australian mateship myth had some usefulness when it was formulated in the 1950s by A.A. Phillips and Russel Ward, since it provided an alternative explanation to British-Australian perspectives on Australia at the time. But the time has long passed when it should be looked at uncritically and regurgitated in its original monochrome version. Ned Kelly is an Australian folk hero who presses many buttons: anti-government, anti-British, popular leader, Irish rebel, tribune of dispossessed selectors, victim of partial justice and of an oppressive establishment—or so the received version goes. Just as it might have been fading between the wars, the…

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