The life and times of Ned Kelly tour – primary

Ironclad bushranging: Ned Kelly taking the attacking force in rear, Aug 1880
60 minutes
Year level
Year: 5–6
$130 per group (up to 25 students)
50 students. Note: programs do not run on Mondays.

Ned Kelly armour

Please note: Ned Kelly's armour has been removed from The changing face of Victoria exhibition to undergo preparation for display in our new Victoria Gallery, which will open in late spring 2019.

Australia's most notorious bushranger has split public opinion for more than a century – he is a cold-blooded murderer to some but a hero to others.

How did the events of early European settlement shape Ned Kelly's attitudes and turn this charismatic young man to crime?

Students dig deep into the turbulent life of Ned Kelly on this guided tour of the Library's collection. They examine different perspectives and primary sources to draw their own conclusion on the controversial question: was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?

Student experience

Students will:

  • explore the Library's unique heritage spaces, including the iconic La Trobe Reading Room, on a guided tour
  • view significant Ned Kelly artefacts in The changing face of Victoria exhibition, including including his Jerilderie letter
  • consider different perspectives of colonial life in Victoria by examining a variety of items in the Library's collection
  • generate questions and draw conclusions about controversial historical events.

Skills development

This program links to the Victorian Curriculum and assists students to:

  • identify the different perspectives of people from the past (VCHHC124), and evaluate different historical interpretations and contested debates (VCHHC125)
  • analyse sources and ask questions about their accuracy, usefulness and reliability (VCHHC099)
  • investigate when counter examples might be used in expressing a point of view (VCCCTR037).

Excursion funding

Thanks to our generous philanthropic partners, Victorian schools with an Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ranking of less than 1000 may be eligible to receive funding towards program and transport costs. You can look up your school's score on the My School website.

The Library can offer limited bus funding reimbursements, and program waivers for up to four groups per booked excursion. This offer is available until funding has been exhausted.

If you would like to be considered for excursion funding, please add your details when completing the online booking form.

Embark on a journey of discovery at the State Library

Held in the inspiring heritage setting of Australia's oldest public library, our school excursions offer students a uniquely immersive, enriching experience, encouraging return visits and life-long learning. The Library has provided free access to information and education since 1856, and we invite students to become part of history as they tour the breathtaking dome and view our historic collections. All tours and workshops are developed by experienced teachers, aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and facilitated by expert staff.

State Library Victoria is a Child Safe Organisation. Learn more about how we are working to ensure the wellbeing of children visiting the Library.