This week, the Ned Kelly Vault in Beechworth’s Historic Precinct welcomed its 80,000th visitor.
The Ned Kelly Vault opened in 2014, and is a unique partnership between Indigo Shire Council, the Burke Museum and a community of supporters. It is staffed by volunteers from the Beechworth area, with curatorial expertise provided by the Burke Museum.
Burke Museum Manager Cameron Auty said Beechworth’s Ned Kelly Vault is one of the best places in Australia to learn about Ned Kelly.
“The Vault houses regional Victoria’s most extensive collection of Ned Kelly artefacts and memorabilia, drawn from public and private collections across Australia,” he said.
“Key objects on display are Ned’s death mask, Dan Kelly’s pistol, Ned’s favourite rifle ‘Betty’, the original table from Ann Jones’ Inn at Glenrowan that shows the scars and bullet holes from the infamous siege, as well as pop culture items including ‘Shot’ - Sir Sidney Nolan’s final Kelly painting.”
The success of the Ned Kelly Vault is a clear indication of the interest in the Kelly story from both Australian and international visitors. Ned, his gang and the police and people of North East Victoria are central figures in Australian folklore. Their tale showcases themes of crime, justice and injustice, immigration, the gold rush, the creation of creation of modern Australian identity. The Ned Kelly Vault is a great place to dive deep into these stories and more.
Visitation at the Ned Kelly Vault is at an exciting time, with the Ned Kelly Alive report due to be released soon, Mr Auty said.
“The report, by Tourism North East and Regional Development Victoria, in conjunction with local government authorities from the region, will showcase immersive and engaging cultural tourism experiences across Victoria’s High Country based on the Ned Kelly story.
“This is a great time for cultural heritage around the Kelly story. We are telling the story in deeper and richer ways than ever before, and this visitation milestone to the Ned Kelly Vault shows that people continue to be fascinated with the Kellys and their impact on Australian history. We’re excited about big things to come for the Vault and for Ned Kelly in Beechworth.”