Is Ned Kelly a symbol of what it means to be Australian? As Susanna Duffy puts it: “Ned is part of the mythology of ‘the bush’—the perceived cradle of mateship, equality, and the masculine virtue of fearless strength.” He may have been a bushranger, but he was also a self-educated man and a philosophical Robin Hood who spent much of his life as a ferocious defender of the oppressed. Ned Kelly, nicknamed Sunshine by his father, expressed this goal in words attributed to him: “If my lips teach the public that men are made mad by bad treatment…my life will not be entirely thrown away.” Ned Kelly – bushranger
Perhaps Ned Kelly is the origin of many of the virtues the world attributes to Australians—courage, persistence, openness, tolerance, and patriotism. Many also perceive Australians as having a strong work ethic, being friendly, fun-loving and always ready for a good party. Not a bad list of National traits.