We’re not paying $40 for a Japan guide book! Outrageous! So we make for the State Library in Melbourne to steal the information we need: in the imposing surroundings we surreptitiously photograph page-spreads for our journey.

But there’s an excellent exhibition there about the making of the State of Victoria. And I am drawn to the story of the legendary bushranger, Ned Kelly. Here’s his helmet, and body armour, beaten from ploughshares; here are his letters in elegant handwriting; his rifle; and here, spotlit, is his death-mask, head shorn of hair and beard, a slight smile on the lips.

Outside stands a grand statue of the Library’s founder, in his robes, in 1854. Sir Redmond Barry also founded the University of Melbourne, and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. And he was the judge who later hanged Ned Kelly.

“Such is life…”, said Ned, before he dropped through the trap. Redmond Barry died twelve days later.

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