Writing Biographies

Biographies are a form of information report. They are a piece of factual writing based on the life of a person.

This term we will be writing biographies on famous people. When you are choosing people to write about, ensure you are selecting someone who has an interesting story and it is a person you are interested in.

You must make sure you follow the process and unpack an informative seed before drafting. Your biography must be written in sequential paragraphs, include an introduction, body and a conclusion. Think about how you can add powerful language into your biography to make it more engaging to read.

Look at the image below to assist you in planning for your biography.


2 thoughts on “Writing Biographies


    Ned Kelly is Australia’s most famous and talked about bushranger. His bushranger antics have seen him be remembered as a hero and a villain. Ned was the leader of the runaway Kelly gang before being captured by police. Ned Kelly was hanged for crimes such as murder and robbery at the Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880.

    Edward (Ned) Kelly was born into a large family in Northern Victoria in 1855. He was one of twelve children. His father John, was an Irish convict, who had been transported to Australia for pig stealing, while his mother, Ellen Quinn, also had problems with the law and spent time in the Old Melbourne Gaol. His family was seen as poor and had to rely on criminal activity to survive. The Kelly’s were not known for their intelligence and some people referred to them as the half-witted hill-billies.

    At the age of just 11, Ned was seen as a hero to many, when he risked his own life as jumped into a river to save a 7 year-old boy from drowning. However, Ned soon attracted attention for all of the wrong reasons. Before the age of 16, he had been arrested twice for assault and sentenced to six months in jail. A short time after being released, he was charged by the police again and spent another three years in jail. This time he was charged for receiving a stolen horse, although Ned argued he did not know the horse was stolen.

    After being released from Pentridge Prison, Ned Kelly once again found himself in serious trouble. He was accused of shooting a police officer in the wrist at his mother’s house during an argument with a policeman. Ned claimed that he had been set up by the police and was innocent. His mother, Ellen, was also charged over the same incident with attempted murder. Ned Kelly decided to flee and hide out with his brother Dan and family friends, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. The foursome became known as the Kelly gang and established hideouts in the Wombat Ranges and surrounding areas. The gang received assistance from family and friends, who supported the four men, ensuring they were fed and hard for the police to find.

    After months of hiding, Ned Kelly and the rest of the gang were confronted by four policemen at Stringy Bark Creek near Mansfield. The Kelly gang and the policemen refused to surrender for each other and the gun fight that followed resulted in the death of three police officers. The fourth policeman managed to escape the gunfire, although his horse was not so lucky.

    Following the murders of the three policemen, rewards of 2000 pounds were placed for each of the Kelly gang members. They were wanted dead or alive. The four men continued to get support from family and friends, but with the large rewards on offer and increased attention from the police, Ned and his gang were forced into more criminal activity.

    Following the murders at Stringy Bark Creek, the Kelly gang robbed two banks in North-Eastern Victoria, including the Euroa bank. Ned and his gang were desperate and needed money to support themselves and their families, who continued to support the criminals.

    Fearing for their lives, the Kelly gang members created their own metal armour, covering their heads and bodies. While the armour would protect the gang from fatal gun shot wounds, it left their legs and arms exposed and weighed around 44kg, making it hard for the members to move in. Images of Ned in his armour are a popular site throughout Victoria in the current day.

    Ned Kelly and his three gang members continued hiding from police and had planned to hold up the Glenrowan train on June 28th 1880. However, police were notified of the gang’s plan and surrounded Ned, Dan, Joe and Steve at the Glenrowan Hotel. The police were prepared for a shootout with the Kelly gang, which would result in the gang’s last stand.

    Thirty policeman surrounded Ned Kelly and his gang and they didn’t stand a chance. The Glenrowan hotel was burnt down as two gang members perished in the fire, another was shot dead by police and Ned himself was captured alive after being shot in the legs. The Kelly gang had finally been destroyed and Ned, the stats most wanted criminal and bushranger, was finally captured.

    Following the battle at Glenwrowan, Ned was transferred to Melbourne. He spent time in the hospital section of the Old Melbourne Gaol where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his legs. He also attended court to face the charges against him. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

    On the 11th of November 1880, Ned Kelly was led out of a holding cell and hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol. He was just 25 years old. Witnesses have differring opinions of the bushrangers last words prior to his hanging. Some believe Ned said, ‘Such is life,’ while others believe he said, “I guess it had to come to this.” Ned’s mother was also a prisoner at the jail at the time of his hanging. Guards actually ensured she was out of her cell at the time so she could hear her son being hanged.

    Ned Kelly’s story is still very popular today and he is a large part of Australia’s history. Many people visit the Old Melbourne Gaol and Glenrowan each day to hear tales about Ned, look at his armour, see a mould of his head/face and observe the gallows where Ned Kelly was hanged.

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