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  • Benalla is an attractive and prosperous rural city just off the main Melbourne-Sydney Hume Freeway. Known as the 'Rose City' it is noted for its gracious public gardens.

    It is surrounded by rich farm lands and operates as an important service centre. It is an exceptionally beautiful city which has a wide variety of attractions.

    There is a moving homage to Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, the widely admired doctor who worked tirelessly for the men imprisoned and working on the Burma railway. There is a fine rural Botanical Gardens and the town's close connection to Ned Kelly is celebrated in both art and history. It is one of the most impressive rural centres in Victoria. Location Benalla is an attractive service city on the Broken River km north-east of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway. Around this time a grazier named William McKellar established a run he called 'Benalta'.

    It is not clear what the word means but it is likely it was the name of the local Aborigines or a word used to refer to the entire district. It is claimed that the name of the local Aboriginal tribal group was Bhrenawlla.

    The Costume and Kelly Museum specialises in period costumes dating from to the present day.

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    But the museum's highlight is 'The Ned Kelly Saga' which includes the sash Ned wore at the Glenrowan siege; an authentic replica of Joe Byrne's armour; the Witness box from the Benalla Courthouse; the portable lock-up where Ned was held; a copy of the famous Jerilderie letter and a minute video recounting the life of Kelly.

    There is also the door of the old Benalla gaol to which Joe Byrne's body was tied for photographs after the Glenrowan siege in Check out Aussie Towns entry on Avenel for details of the sash Kelly was wearing when he was captured at Glenrowan. The museum and visitor centre is housed within the former mechanics' institute and free library. These Victorian-era institutions are a wonderful comment on the times. They were built to help educate the ordinary working man.

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    The building - a single-storey brick building with gabled roofs and rendered facades - was completed in and added to in Ceramic Mural Garden Nearby, on the foreshore of Lake Benalla, is a ceramic and terracotta mural which includes a frieze wall created inan upper terrace with views across the lake, an amphitheatre created by visiting and local ceramic artists, turquoise glazed ceramic domes, a thongaphone sculpted tuned pipes which can be played with a thonga circular seat and landscaped surrounds.

    It began as a community project in and has been called 'the largest community artwork in Australia.

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    The mural has integrated the skills of traditional potters, the vision of indigenous people and the passion of guided amateurs, young and old It lies north of the main bridge. It is open from Admission is free, tel: Along the way it is possible to see a wide variety of native animals - birdlife as well as the rakali native water rat and, possibly, a platypus.

    Benalla Botanical Gardens and Rose Gardens The Benalla Botanical Gardens were created in out of what was then a cricket field and consequently is a rarity: The highlights of the gardens include a sculpture of Edward 'Weary' Dunlop which was unveiled in ; a band rotunda which dates from ; and the soldier's memorial from The extensive, and justifiably famous, Rose Gardens which stretch along the southern edge of the garden were established in In season there is an impressive display of modern hybrid tea and floribunda roses.

    Weary Dunlop Memorial Located within the Botanical Gardens and clearly visible from Bridge Street is the Weary Dunlop Memorial, a powerful statue depicting two Australian doctors Dunlop being the standing one helping a wounded and emaciated comrade.

    Cast in bronze and over 2 metres high it stands on a granite plinth with the words "compassion, integrity, forgiveness, humility, courage, leadership, friendship" engraved on the granite base. The sculpture was unveiled in You can read more about him singular life at http: The statue at Benalla is much better than the one depicted at the Australian War Memorial. This hotel was built in to provide accommodation, food and drink for prospectors en route to the goldfields and inafter the Kelly gang has shot three policeman at Stringybark, it became the unofficial headquarters for the police during their hunt for the Kelly gang.

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    It is a two-storey Italianate building with stuccoed facade and single-storey wings and a cast iron veranda. The lower level was for bank business and the gracious upper level was the bank manager's residence.

    He was the town's first Shire President.

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    Characterised by an impressive five-bay rendered facade with superb lace ironwork, it is now used as the Benalla Mens' Club and Moira Bowls Club. It is classified by the National Trust. It was built in and architecturally is notable for the elaborate two-storey facade, with its unusual pyramid towers.

    It achieved a certain notoriety because Ned Kelly was tried here twice for minor offences. The cell in which Kelly was held is still in its original state. It was considerably altered in and is now the Parish Centre for the Holy Trinity Anglican church.

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    The nave of the church was built in It was consecrated in and the chancel and sanctuary were added in The vestry and organ chamber were added in and the red-brick belfry and porch in We know this because it was the site of an escape attempt by Ned Kelly who burst into the shop while en route from the police station to the courthouse.

    The story is that he was recaptured in the shop after a violent struggle with Sergeant Whelan and Constables Lonigan, O'Dea and Fitzpatrick which ensued after Constable Lonigan tried to handcuff Kelly.

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    The first sporting event held at the stadium was on 6 March when a then-record rugby league football crowd ofwatched the NRL first round double-header, featuring Newcastle v Manly and Parramatta v St George Illawarra Dragons. The first musical act held at the newly built stadium was the Bee Geesconsisting of BarryRobin and Maurice Gibbon March 27, The band had embarked on what would be their final world tour as a group before the death of Maurice, the tour ending in the newly built Olympic Stadium.

    The show was sold out with an attendance of 66, Australia won the match 3—2 in front of a crowd of 88, Stadium Australia also played host to the national side's historic playoff win over Uruguay in Novembera victory which granted Australia FIFA World Cup qualification for only the second time in the country's history.

    The event attracted a virtual capacity crowd of 82, The Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks attracted a then-world record rugby union crowd ofIn this was bettered when an almost capacity crowd ofcapacity at the time waswitnessed the "Greatest ever Rugby Match" when a Jonah Lomu try sealed an All Blacks win over the Wallabies 39— The All Blacks had led nil after 11 minutes only to see Australia draw level at all by halftime.

    An exhibition soccer match between the Socceroos and Premier League team Manchester United was played on 18 July Manchester United defeated Australia in front of 78, spectators. The match, Game 2 of the three game seriessaw the record Origin attendance in Sydney when 88, saw the Blues christen their new home with a win. The attendance broke the Origin attendance record of 87, set at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Game 2 of the series.

    The Broncos won the game 20—17 in front of 73, spectators. This was Australia's first, and currently only, American Bowl game. The National Rugby League grand finalplayed on 26 September between the Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragonsbroke the rugby league world-record crowd previously set earlier in the season whencame to watch the Storm defeat the Dragons 20—18 to win their first NRL premiership. Athletics events at Stadium Australia during the Summer Olympics During the Olympicsthe evening athletics sessions on day 11 attractedspectators on the night that Australia's Cathy Freeman won the Olympic Gold Medal for the Women's metres.

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    As ofthis remains the world record attendance for any athletics event. The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics at the stadium completely sold out allseats, while the highest attendance for any event in modern Olympic Games history was recorded withat the stadium for the closing ceremony of the same Games. Also in attendance on stage during the Closing ceremony were other famous Australian's including golfer Greg Norman and comedian-actor Paul Hogan.

    Oval configuration with rugby goal posts.

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    Australia defeated Uruguay 1—0, which led to a penalty shootout as Uruguay had won the first leg of the playoff 1—0. Australia won the shootout 4—2 and secured a spot in the World Cup for the first time since The penalty spot where John Aloisi 's spot kick secured victory has been permanently preserved and is on public display at the stadium. It was the first time since the competition began in that two teams from outside of Sydney had contested the grand final. As of the NRL Grand Finalthis is one of only two times that no Sydney based team has contested the premiership decider and also the only time an NRL grand final at the Olympic Stadium has failed to attract at least 80, fans.

    This is the record winning margin for a grand final, breaking the previous record of when Eastern Suburbs defeated St George in the Grand Final played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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    It was also the first time a team had been held scoreless in a grand final since Manly had defeated Cronulla-Sutherland in the Grand Final Replay at the SCG the original Grand Final that year had been drawn Additionally, an LED perimeter screen showcasing ANZ advertising has been installed on the second level from the 30m line to the 30m line.

    During a Twenty20 match between India and Australia in It hosted its first ever International Cricket match when Australia took on India in a Twenty20 night game on 1 February On 6 July a new rectangle configuration record attendance of 83, watched the British and Irish Lions defeat The Wallabies to win the Tom Richards Cup series by The record set by the Wallabies test was broken just 10 days later on 17 July when 83, only short of capacity attended Game 3 of the State of Origin series.

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    Queensland defeated NSW to win their 8th straight Origin series. With 80, attending Game 1 at the stadium, the attendances also broke the Origin attendance records for the first and third game of a series. With the second game of the series attracting 51, to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadiumalso broke the Origin series attendance record withattending the three games. On 6 Septemberthe largest ever NRL minor round attendance for a single game at the stadium was set when 59, saw eventual Premiers the Sydney Roosters defeat South Sydney in the final round of the NRL season.

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    This was also the largest single game minor round crowd in the history of the premiership dating back tobreaking the previous record set at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane now known as the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre on 27 August when St George defeated Brisbane in Round 22 of the NSWRL season in front of 58, fans. After having won Game 1 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, the home side's win saw Queensland's eight year domination of Origin come to an end as New South Wales won their first series since It was the Rabbitohs first grand final appearance and premiership win since The crowd was the highest domestic cricket crowd in NSW history, only to be knocked off a few weeks later at the Sydney Cricket Ground involving the same two teams.

    History was repeated on 4 October when for only the second time in the NRL's history, no NSW team was in the grand final and for the first time ever, it was a Queensland derby in the final between Brisbane and North Queensland.