I read with interest the piece in The Border Mail headed “Republic idea just bananas” (June 30).
I have read everything that I can read on Ned Kelly. I have also listened many, many years ago to an old man that was a neighbour to the Kellys at Greta on a serial every Sunday night called "50 and over", where this old man said that the Kellys were persecuted to no ends on trumped-up charges to just try and remove them from the Greta area.
These charges were implemented by a farmer east of Benalla who was high up in the administration area and mainly resided in Melbourne.
I would sooner take note of a man living in the Kelly times than anyone from a university such as Monash.
The old man also stated that Ned Kelly was interested in a North Eastern Republic. It was mainly an Irish thing, but Ned Kelly became disheartened because of the influence of the Irish in the Victorian Police Force, those who were making it hard for him with their persecutions and trumped-up charges. And the tradition still goes on today with the police still trying to push their barrows of agendas of making out Ned Kelly was a murderous criminal, etc.
I know for a fact that a republic was in the wind with the Kelly Gang and I do not care what anybody else thinks. Please let Ned Kelly rest because the facts are deliberately hidden by those pushing other views.
Bill Whitham, Tallangatta
Importance of women
This week, July 8 to 15, is NAIDOC week across Australia. Following this year’s theme of ‘because of her, we can’ I want to tell you about the importance of women in all the work I do, especially within my Aboriginal Services.
Women play a significant role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and this NAIDOC week we are asked to reflect on their contribution to the growth and development of our country.
For at least 65,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried dreaming stories, song lines, languages and knowledge.
In more recent times, they have been there at the forefront of major turning points in Australian culture and history.
From the Torres Strait Pearlers strike in 1936, to the 1967 Referendum - which included Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples in population figures – to more modern issues such as the 2008 apology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women have continued to be a driving force for Aboriginal rights.
Having strong female role models is absolutely crucial to helping young people grow.
Not only is it important for young women, but young men draw so much from mothers, grandmothers, aunties and friends. Across my organisation, Youth Off The Streets, we have female staff in every program who contribute enormous amounts to bettering the lives of young people.
We have so much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture.
There are many inspiring stories from women on the NAIDOC week website at: www.naidoc.org.au.
This NAIDOC week I ask you to reflect on the theme of ‘because of her, we can’ and think about how important women have been in supporting you and your community.
Father Chris Riley,
CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets
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