New chapter for Kelly story in Beechworth

Published on 30 July 2018

Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Jenny O'Connor said she welcomed the Ned Kelly Alive Report released by Tourism North East and Regional Development Victoria.

“The Ned Kelly story is such a big part of our history and it attracts many visitors to the region every year. Beechworth is also home to the most significant collection of historic buildings connected to the Kelly story in regional Victoria.”

“We welcome the recommendations in the Ned Kelly Alive Report, including a proposed expanded Kelly Experience at the Old Beechworth Gaol and Beechworth’s Historic Precinct Courthouse ‘Kelly Trials’ concept.”

“It is exciting to see two concepts proposed for Beechworth; it recognises Beechworth’s existing Kelly credentials and collection as well as future tourism opportunities,” Cr O’Connor said.

The Ned Kelly collection is made up of around 100 items, of which approximately 90 per cent are privately owned. It includes many rare items such as Sidney Nolan’s final painting Shot, Ned Kelly’s rifle, as well as original photographs and documents.

Burke Museum Manager Cameron Auty said the owners of the collection in the Ned Kelly Vault have expressed a wish to expand the exhibition and experience.

“They want to showcase more of this world-class collection for all visitors to enjoy and moving it to the Old Beechworth Gaol as part of the Kelly Experience concept is a great way to ensure that the collection stays in Beechworth. We hope it will also allow more items from the community to be sourced and displayed.”

“We’re excited to tell the Kelly story in new and innovative ways, and revitalise the historic precinct with an immersive interpretation of the Kelly Gang and family’s trials at the Beechworth Courthouse,” Mr Auty said.

The Ned Kelly Alive Report was funded by Regional Development Victoria, into the tourism potential of the life and times of Ned Kelly was released by commissioning partners, the Rural City of Wangaratta, Indigo Shire, Mansfield Shire and Benalla Rural City.  

The report can be viewed here.