Partway through the Jerilderie Letter, Ned Kelly accused Senior Constable Anthony Strahan of threatening to shoot him ‘like a dog’. Two days after Anthony reputedly made his threat, Ned and his gang shot dead three policemen at Stringybark Creek, believing one of the cops was Anthony.
Lachlan Strahan, Anthony’s great-great-grandson, grew up believing Ned Kelly was a heroic outlaw and Anthony the ruthless cop who pursued him. Yet as he combed through letters, police reports, court transcripts, newspapers and family histories, Lachlan pieced together a different story about the life of his ancestor. Did Anthony utter those incendiary words about Ned? Whose version of history do we believe?
Lachlan Strahan will discuss this tale of justice and retribution, morality and character, and making a life against the odds in a frontier society. It is also a story of inheritance: of the words passed from father to son, and the stories we choose to preserve and retell.