To laud the thieves, runaways and sometime murderers who became bushrangers is uniquely Australian, for it is not only the outlaw heroes we romanticise, but the villains as well. Why do we find them so fascinating? Does it have something to do with our convict heritage, and our consequent attitude towards authority – are they merely larrikins writ large? Is that morally ambiguous attitude changing as our population diversifies? There’s no denying that the stories of these men (and a few women) make ripping yarns, which explains why they have featured in so many songs, paintings, and films over the years.

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