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Ned Kelly’s remains should be returned to his family and he should be given a decent burial says former Pentridge Prison chaplain, Fr Peter Norden, AO.

Fr Norden, who has been appointed a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, says that in the 12 years since the former Pentridge Prison closed and moved into the hands of private commercial developers, nothing has been done to recognise the grave sites of those buried in the prison grounds.

Ned Kelly’s remains were moved from the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1929, after they were disturbed by building works for the Melbourne Working Men’s College (now RMIT University), along with more than 30 other persons executed in the city gaol. They joined the remains of the 10 executed and buried at Pentridge Prison.

“Forensic Services are now assessing the human remains buried at Pentridge Prison. These are not unknown persons, but the remains of those the Victorian Government executed,” Father Norden says.

Because of the lack of recognition of the Pentridge gravesites, Fr Norden, arranged for the exhumation of Ronald Ryan 40 years after his execution. His remains were returned to his family last year, and Fr Norden is now calling for the same treatment for Ned Kelly’s remains.

“Female descendants of Ned Kelly’s family have expressed to me an interest in providing assistance for DNA testing and I believe they should decide where Ned gets buried, certainly not back in the former Pentridge Prison site.

“Ned Kelly’s family’s descendents should have the same rights as Ronald Ryan’s,” insists Fr Norden. “It would be fitting to conduct a private memorial service for the family, as his remains should not be controlled by private commercial interests.

“Let’s give Ned Kelly a final resting place with his deceased family members and insist that the Victorian Government recognises the human remains of those who cannot be identified, by providing a memorial at the gravesites at Pentridge.”

Father Norden AO will be available for interviews at the Melbourne Law School today.

Ned Kelly’s remains should be returned to his family and he should be given a decent burial says former Pentridge Prison chaplain, Fr Peter Norden, AO.

Outrage and accusations of political correctness by politicians and some sections of the media in response to the Government’s Draft Early Years Framework are misguided, and deny the science of early childhood development, according to University of Melbourne Chair of Early Childhood Education and Care, Professor Collette Tayler.

One of Australia’s leading supporters of cultural and social causes – Dame Elisabeth Murdoch - is to be honoured at the University of Melbourne this Monday, 30 March at 4pm in the Woodward Conference Centre, top floor, Melbourne Law School.

To examine the importance of data as the basis of news stories, the University of Melbourne will host a panel discussion with some of Australia’s leading journalists. Using their own experiences, journalists will discuss the process of analyzing and presenting data when covering topics such as medical and social research and opinion polls.

Professor Jeff Borland from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Economics and Commerce has been named as the next Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University, USA.

The University of Melbourne’s Director of Knowledge Transfer and Partnerships Ms Helen Hayes has officially launched the 13th SheppARTon Festival 2009 in the McIntosh Pavilion of the Shepparton Showgrounds.

A free booklet explaining how people can care for valued possessions such as artworks and photos after bushfire damage has been developed by the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC).

March marks the centenary of the opening of Australia’s first university veterinary school.

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