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'Science Meets Ned Kelly' Public Lecture @ The Royal Society

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published October 8th 2012
Finding Ned's head

Ned's head or is it?

If you have been following the stories in the newspaper then you will know there has been lots of speculation about who's got Ned's head.

Identifying human remains is a prime concern for forensic medicine. As part of Melbourne's History Week, there will be a fascinating talk which pulls information together information about the identifying Ned Kelly's remains.

It runs the gambit of disciplines from history and law to medicine and science. Presenters include Professor Stephen Cordner, a Professor of Forensic Medicine at Monash University and Fiona Leahy, the Senior Medico-Legal Advisor at the Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Ned Kelly was executed in 1880 for the murder of one of three policemen killed by his gang at Stringybark Creek in October 1878.

But the head was famously not buried with the body so there has been a great deal of conjecture about its whereabouts.

On the 11 November 2009, a Mr Tom Baxter handed a human skull to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. It came into his possession long after it was stolen from the Old Melbourne Gaol where it had been displayed since 1972 as the skull of Ned Kelly.

But was it?

Photograph taken by the police

At the same time, housed in the mortuary, were the remains of executed prisoners exhumed from the former Pentridge Prison in 1929 when this gaol was decommissioned.

This talks also discusses some of these exhumed remains.

All in all, some fascinating insights into an Australian legend, who refuses to stay dead and buried.

A policeman trying on Ned's homemade armour
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Why? To delve into the fascinating history of Ned Kelly
When: Refreshments 6.15pm; Lecture 7pm; Supper 8pm Thursday 25 October
Phone: (03) 9326 9288 or (03) 9663 5259
Where: The Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Cost: $20
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