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By Shane Strudwick

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Hume did discover other regions prior including the Lakes Bathurst, Goulburn and Yass Plains. In 1828-29 he was a member of Sturt’s party in the exploration of the Castlereagh and Bogan Rivers. Hume acknowledged Sturt as his superior and was happy to accept a secondary role. Hume’s ability to converse with the Aboriginals was an important skill. William Hovell (1786-1875) A retired sea captain who had settled at Narellan, NSW, he accompanied Hume on a famous journey of exploration south to Port Phillip, sharing part of the cost.

Considered a ‘flash’ in his early teens, Ned was recognised as an excellent horseman, and could hold his own in a pub brawl. After a few clashes with the law, Ned was first jailed in 1870 for 3 months with hard labour when 15 years old, for assault and indecent behaviour. During January 1879 the Kellys were seen in the Rutherglen-Corowa region. They crossed the Murray River into New South Wales to escape the Victorian Police. New South Wales was considered a safe haven. Ned knew the river crossings well as he had previously worked at Fairfield Vineyard, danced at Forty’s Pub in Wahgunyah, and drank in Corowa.

Between the Condamine in the north and the Goulburn in the south. Nobody suspected that all the intervening rivers belonged to the same riparian scheme. “The plains were open to the horizon. Views as boundless as the ocean. No timber but here and there a stunted gum or a gloomy cypress. ” The 2 men who solved the riddle of the rivers were Sturt, in his Murray whaleboat, and Major Mitchell, who made 4 land journeys that went as far as the Barcoo and enabled him to link up the fragments of the rivers already discovered.

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