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The critical connection between Ned Kelly, The Ashes & Janet Lady Clarke

27 July 2020

Senior curator Carolyn Fraser reveals how two enduring items of Australian history – Ned Kelly's armour and The Ashes 'sacred soot' – are linked together by one person: Janet Lady Clarke, an influential woman whose engagement in social justice causes led to the foundation of the Women's Hospital and the Australian Women's National League.

About Velvet, Iron, Ashes

Velvet, Iron, Ashes was a free exhibition held at the Library between October 2019 and July 2020. It presented a new way of seeing Victoria's history by drawing threads between people, places and events that were not immediately apparent, and which prompted viewers to make surprising connections and discoveries of their own.

Explore our dedicated Velvet, Iron, Ashes page to find out:

  • how the armour of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly is connected to cricket’s celebrated Ashes Urn
  • how fairy floss is connected to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley electricity industry
  • why the granddaughter of one of our prime ministers once wore a glittering velvet cloak symbolising the Murray–Darling irrigation scheme.

About this video series

This video is the second of three in which Carolyn tells stories from and draws out the surprising connections in Velvet, Iron, Ashes