Evan McHugh explores Australia’s fascination with bushrangers, the men — and women — who blazed their place into Australian history with daring exploits and audacious deeds.
Bushrangers stand alongside pirates as a group whose other qualities transcend their core criminal activities. They have become self-made heroes of the underclass, the subject of artworks that accord them mythical status and champions of an anti-authoritarian larrikin streak that is still a valued part of the Australian character. While bushrangers stole and sometimes killed, they also stood for a proud independence that would rather die than give up their cherished freedom.
Rebels they may have been, but the bushranger motto of ‘liberty or death’ speaks directly to our willingness to defend the freedoms we cherish today.
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