Only in OZ #17 – Ned Kelly Tribute, Jerilderie, NSW

Last Updated on March 3, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

Ned Kelly Tribute - Bread Tin Ned - Jerilderie NSW
Ned Kelly Tribute – Bread Tin Ned – Jerilderie NSW

Whether or not you consider Aussie bushranger and icon Ned Kelly a national hero or national disgrace probably depends on which version of history you’ve been told. But whatever your views, there’s no denying Ned’s reincarnation as both cultural icon – and tourist drawcard!

From inspiring the first feature film ever made (more recent remakes star Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger), numerous songs, and novels including Peter Carey’s Booker Prize winning ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’, AND giving his name to an Aussie bakery pie (with various ingredients) Ned Kelly’s name is big business.

Ned Kelly Silhouette - a pale imitation of Bread Tin Ned!
Ned Kelly Silhouette – a pale imitation of Bread Tin Ned!


But how can you make the legend work for you if you live in Jerilderie, and you want to divert tourists from ‘Kelly Country’ and the epicentre of ‘Ned’ hysteria, Victoria’s Glenrowan??

You construct an 8 ft high statue of Ned out of bread tins, of course!

If you were already thinking this – and why wouldn’t you be? – it’s my sad duty to inform you that you’ve been beaten to the punch by the Jerilderie Bakery. MUCH more striking than the numerous bushranger cut-outs scattered through Jerilderie’s main streets that telegraph its bushranger credentials, this innovative and tasteful tribute is quite possibly the only one of its kind in the world*!

Those eyes! Bread Tin Ned at Jerilderie!
Those eyes! Bread Tin Ned at Jerilderie!

But Jerilderie’s connection with the elusive Ned is far from tenuous. In 1879, Jerilderie was ‘visited’ by the Kelly Gang – the only town in New South Wales to be so honoured!

In an event lasting several days, the gang cut the telegraph line, locked the policemen in the cells, held up the bank and destroyed mortgage documents – all without injury or death!
But all this excitement was merely a distraction from the primary reason for visiting Jerilderie. Ned intended to publish an account of his life – now known as the ‘Jerilderie Letter’ – at the town’s printing press.

It’s ironic that Jerilderie’s livelihood doesn’t actually depend on Ned’s legacy – its position in the Southern Riverina, varied industry base, rich heritage and natural attractions make it a tourist drawcard in its own right.

While Ned’s manifesto wasn’t printed, and in fact remained hidden until 1930, Jerilderie gets the benefit of his intent to publish – thereby earning a unique place on the Ned Kelly tourist trail.

Bread Tin Body Armour - would it have saved Ned Kelly??
Bread Tin Body Armour – would it have saved Ned Kelly??


But maybe Ned’s legacy can be found at the Jerilderie Bakery where the class divide is impossible to maintain when eating under the watchful gaze of ‘Bread Tin Ned’!  It’s also virtually impossible to maintain a straight face …

And hard though it’ll be, please try to contain your jealousy that I’ve had this experience, and you probably haven’t.

Although you can always fix that!!

*Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Want MORE?

Like it? SHARE it!


  1. @Colin Campbell – I suspect there’s a few claimants for the ‘original’ Ned Kelly pie! I’m yet to have a bad one – and will certainly look out for the Tailem Bend version!!

  2. I am a big fan of Ned Kelly pies. The Tailem Bend bakery claims the original version. Some bakers sell them in Adelaide. Just a little added eggs and bacon. Tasty

  3. @Joan Elizabeth – Bread Tin Ned is cunningly hidden in the bakery’s courtyard!!
    @Betty – welcome back, my friend! It’s these mysteries that make life so interesting …
    @Manzanita – I’m FAR more interested in telling the stories than I am weeding/lawnmowing/washing/
    cleaning house/lambing etc etc etc …
    @Magsx2 – thanx, will check it out!
    @Alessandra – WOW! Thanx for the translation – and I guess it’s an honour to be part of such an infamous chapter in OZ history!!
    @diane b – Amazing how it happened right after my random Ned Kelly post!!!

  4. Ops, I wrote in italian!!! Translation, one of the great-uncles of my husband was in a bank when it was robbed by Ned. Or so he claimed (didn’t meet him, long dead).


  5. Well, this is a good one. Ned Kelly. A name worthy of some villainous dishonor but the bread tin thing only makes me hungry. Just mention bread…. and I
    think of butter. My downfall in food is bread and butter.
    Don’t you hate to return home and everything that can go wrong, says “Hello.” I feel like that every time I go to Helena, now. Hope you get your “priorities” in place and get to all the good stories you brought home.
    Cheers to you…

  6. another interesting post/story!
    thanks so much for sharing it.

    as for ned kelly, hero or villain…guessing we’ll never know the real story.

    big hugs!


  7. When I was in Jerilderie I looked for the big Ned, then I remembered it was at Glen Rowan. I didn’t see the bread tin Ned.

  8. @PDP – Yes, is it a tribute? Or a desecration?? And which is more deserved!! He’s certainly a controversial figure!
    @Aleah – well, if he’d had that tin body, he might have lived longer!!!
    @Magsx2 – Yes, they make it, don’t they?!
    @Dianne – Thanx! It was fun to write too!! I never dreamed a visit to Jerilderie would be so inspiring!!

  9. @Andrew – Ha! Maybe bread storage tins are rare because they DIDN’T work!! Ned, however, is constructed from the more plebian bread baking tins …
    @River – well, it’s not something I would have thought of either!!! Bread tin Ned clearly falls into the ‘bizarre’ category, I think!
    @Lilly – haha! I guess ‘legend’ is the perfect way to describe such a morally ambiguous character – as you can see from the comments, opinion is divided, but there’s no denying his cult status!

  10. Yay! I think Ned would be thinking what a great job – hero or villain? I guess we’ll never know the real story! Loved the post!

  11. Hi,
    Ned Kelly hero or villain, maybe a bit of both, but more villain in my book. 🙂
    You just have to love the eyes that is unreal. LOL.

  12. Ned Kelly’s bones would be ‘a rattling’ in his grave, BREAD TINS..stone the crows!! Great post once again Red.

  13. WOW – nice story and ONLY in OZ are the great stories to actually WOW us readers. Thanks Red, for another # 1 post. I really enjoyed this and it is kinda neat to read about heroes, legends in another country. You’re the best……and you are right – I cannot see the possibility of Lord Stanley coming to OZ just yet – but then, one never knows, right?

  14. I haven’t thought about bread tins for years. I used to think they were to keep bread fresh. They failed on that point. Must have to keep the critters out. I usually have an opinion about everything, but I don’t about Ned.

  15. @L&J – If it’s anywhere near a bakery, I’ll find it!! And thanx – but ‘investigative journalism’ is a fairly loose description, no?!
    @SFlaGuy – Bread Tin Ned is a well kept secret … you gotta wonder why!!! But I’m sure the history channel’s program would have been all the richer for its inclusion …
    @Kath – haha! Is that a bread tin in your pocket, or are you … a bushranger??!!
    @Windsmoke – you’re one up on me – I’ve never been to Glenrowan, but the Big Ned Kelly I’m told is there is certainly a drawcard!!
    @Beach Bum – perhaps – but only if your JB indulged in criminal activities to further his ambitions!!!
    @Towanda – love your new name! And yes, this manifestation of OZ ‘culture’ is more weird than wonderful!!!

  16. Ned Kelly sound like Virginia’s John Brown who tried to start a slave uprising a few years before the Civil War.

  17. Ned Kelly was only trying to survive in the harsh Australian bush like everybody else around that time, but went astray and was treated badly. The Ned Kelly Museum in Glenrowan is definitely worth a visit :-).

  18. I’m at odds to call Ned a hero, so I think that having him commemorated with bread tins is pretty well appropriate! 🙂

  19. I saw a show on the History Channel about Ned Kelly a while back. I don’t remember them mentioning Bread Tin Kelly. So glad you uncovered this story to add to the legend.

  20. Hello:
    Only in OZ……we find ourselves saying that so many times when reading your most entertaining investigative journalism!! Ned Kelly represented in bread tins, now surely we have heard it all…….unless, of course, you know otherwise?!!!

    Unlike many of the topics on which you write, we have heard of Ned Kelly and have found this piece of NK history most interesting. Thank you for another fascinating and wittily written post.

  21. @TGN – how cool is this? I’ve got Finland on my Google stats ‘audience’ now!! And probably just as well this is only in OZ …

  22. Haha, what the heck is going on here?? With those creepy eyes, might even be afraid to go in. I think you are right, only in Australia 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.