Alpine Observer - North East Regional Extra

The Kelly Hunters

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GRANTLEE Keiza is a Walkley Award finalist, author of 19 previous titles including Mrs Kelly, Banjo, Macquarie, Banks, Lawson and Bert Hinkler (The Most Daring Man In The World).

He is back with a new book, this time featuring the men who caused Ned and his gang sleepless nights.

After Ned Kelly and his gang ambushed and murdered three policemen at Stringybar­k Creek in North East Victoria they became the targets of the most expensive manhunt in Australian history.

Aided and abetted (and feared) by locals who hid and fed them, the Kelly Gang remained at large.

Senior police, soldiers, informers, undercover agents and individual­s hoping to cash in on rewards became increasing­ly frustrated by the failure of their efforts.

Eventually the authoritie­s imported six young Aboriginal trackers from North Queensland to capture or kill the Kelly gang.

Led by an Irishman named Stanhope O’Connor, the Native Police contingent (according to local press reports) had just massacred 28 Aboriginal men as punishment for wounding two white men in a shower of spears.

This reputation, coupled with an £8000 reward, led to 16 months of intensifie­d Kelly hunting.

These men were poorly paid, looked on as outsiders (blacktrack­ers) and, with the majority from North Queensland, were initially unused to the rugged terrain and freezing weather conditions encountere­d in North East Victoria.

Well researched and written, Grantlee Keiza’s The Kelly Hunters cements his reputation as one of Australia’s best writers with the ability to bring to life little known characters of the Kelly legend.

Grantlee Keiza, who lives in Queensland, will be in Wangaratta for an author talk at the Wangaratta Library on April 28 at 6.00pm.

Don’t miss the book or the event, contact the library to register your attendance.

 ?? With Edgars Books & News Wangaratta ??
With Edgars Books & News Wangaratta

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