Kate Kelly on the Lachlan

Merrill Findlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Kate Kelly, the sister of bushranger Ned, spent the last decade of her life in the inland town of Forbes, on the Lachlan River in New South Wales. This article explores how Kelly is remembered in this town, and the role the print media has played in generating and transmitting these memories. This article differentiates between communicative or lived memory, and cultural memory, as embodied in newspapers, for example, and employs the Foucauldian tool of dispositif analysis to map constellations of cultural memories of Kate. The ways this iconic woman has been represented over time are discussed. How the values embodied in representations of her have shifted as the 'dominant strategic function' of her memory dispositif has changed is demonstrated. In this, the author must declare an interest: Fresh stories to the Kate Kelly memory dispositif have been added through the author's own creative interventions in Forbes, including a recent chamber opera, The Kate Kelly Song Cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalRural Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


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