A Ned Kelly Centre, but when ?

This page is provided to stimulate discussion and ideas for a future Ned Kelly Centre.

The Penleigh Boyd and Bill Denheld Ned Kelly Centre proposal of 2003 is just one idea. Our aim was to produce a bold, gimmick free, truly Australian building. It should be modern, minimal, timeless in style and straightforward. It should not be distracting, stylized or a pastiche of the 1880's. The use of a simple palette of all Australian materials: glass, iron, new and recycled timbers, flagstone paving were envisaged. The building should be serene a place for contemplation yet stimulating to encourage interest. A high lookout is also provided to allow visitors to orient themselves in Kelly country. There is a dichotomy in the Kelly legend: hero or villain? This building functions like a courthouse: here is all the information you, the visitor, weigh up the evidence.
Such is the Spirit of the building we created.





The Boyd/Denheld building
as seen from Gladstone         Street

Model view over Glenrowan  buildings and placement of the Ned Kelly Centre in the town partly over railway line with a 26 metres tall tower to take in spectacular 360 degree views right across to the Victorian Alps. With this additional tower the building functions not only as an educational experience but a tourist magnet as well, all necessary for a financially positive outcome.


A Ned Kelly Centre seems no closer, thirteen years have passed since that effort. 

Perhaps a fresh start is required. It seems fundamental that any Ned Kelly Centre must have the endorsement of the descendants of Ned Kelly. Failing that it will not have the necessary authority to tell the true Kelly story. From our position, as an interested party wanting to help facilitate a Ned Kelly Centre in our lifetime, we suggest an open public ideas competition which asks, for example, in 20 words or less, what is the aim of a Ned Kelly Centre? Is it perhaps: " To be a central place for NK memorabilia" or 
"To present the NK story in a factual unbiased setting, like a courtroom "....etc. etc.

The ideas competition would then be assessed by the descendants with one agreed aim, or agreed group of aims, emerging. If the descendants cannot reach agreement, it is perhaps best that a centre not be built. However, once an agreed aim is known, professional help can express that aim into a building brief i.e. a list of functional requirements for a proposed building.

We, Penleigh Boyd and Bill Denheld, would be happy to assist in that process of developing the agreed aim into a building brief.

Once a building brief is available, then a design competition could be held to bring forth ideas of what the building could look like, how much it would cost and even where it would be best located.

The 2003 Boyd /Denheld concept proposal included the re-opening the Glenrowan railway station. Trains from Melbourne, surrounding country regions or even Sydney could arrive at Glenrowan for day visits. Visitors from Melbourne or Sydney would be a wonderful new initiative bringing additional tourists to Glenrowan and the Ned Kelly Centre. What is the current status of the Station re opening? Is anyone working on that initiative? Tourism Victoria?

This webpage will host free any other re developments regarding a Ned Kelly Centre for any town or district.




Ned Kelly Centre by TERROIR with Hirst Projects + Thylacine, completed a feasibility study for the Ned Kelly Interpretive Centre in Glenrowan, for the Rural City of Wangaratta in June 2012. The study evaluated the opportunity to develop a nationally significant Glenrowan interpretive centre based around all elements of the Ned Kelly uprising. 

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An almost shingle tower! Architect is Alex Popov from Sydney. His scheme for Miranda Cellar Door in the King Valley, "A Tower...stands out from the landscape to intrigue thirsty motorists". His tower is just a light well whereas ours at Glenrowan is a lookout with slots through which to view the landscape - much as the Kelly gang viewed the scene behind their helmets! But his approach has some elements in common with our proposal. This is an example of what Glenrowan could be missing out on. This building was completed 2008

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Probably the closest thing to a Ned Kelly Centre is the Sub-Treasury building in Beechworth now home to The Ned Kelly Vault. It is an annex of The Burke Museum and houses one of the most significant Ned Kelly Collections in Australia from both The Burke Museum and private collections. On display is the original Ned Kelly's death mask, Ned Kelly's gun named Betty, brother Dan Kelly's pistol, the original table from the verandah of The Anne Jones Hotel Glenrowan, original photographs and documents, all a culmination of many years work by Ian Jones and Matt Shore 'Ned The Exhibition'.

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