Though the outlaws have sympathisers all over the country, there are very few that are close to the gang. The inner circle of sympathisers provides the gang with vital information about the police, fresh clothes and horses, food and other supplies, as well as acting as a soundboard for their plans or creating distractions to keep the police off their tails.
Maggie is the backbone of the inner circle. Without her dedication and organisation, the support for the gang would quickly fall apart. Her devotion to her family is what defines her life; willingly putting herself in the crosshairs of the police to help her outlawed brothers. Beyond that she is bolshie, rough around the edges, yet tender-hearted. Her blossoming love for Tom Lloyd brings a rare beam of sunlight into her life.
Tom is cousin to the Kellys. As children, his family lived with theirs until their uncle burned the house down. As a teen he was one of the Greta Mob with his cousin Dan, but now as an adult he staunchly supports Ned Kelly. Tom acts as a spymaster, gathering information from all of the sympathisers and relaying it back to the gang. Were it not for his own dramas, he may well run away with the gang. On top of this he finds himself deeply in love with Maggie Skillion, but she is already a married woman.
Teenage Kate is far more mature than her years suggest. Having to take in the responsibility of being the head of the household while her mother is in gaol and her brothers are outlawed comes with a great many responsibilities that don’t leave much time to be frivolous. Kate is a serious, deeply emotional young woman who is devoted to her family.
Wild lives up to his name; a huge loutish Irishman who likes to express himself with his fists. He is a staunch supporter of the outlaws, and a relative by marriage, who would readily die in battle to defend them.
Resourceful, beautiful, and fiesty, Ettie Hart is the sister of Steve Hart, and the betrothed of Ned Kelly. Though Ned finds relationships difficult, Ettie brings out his passionate and tender side while Ned brings out Ettie’s adventurous and romantic side.
Richard “Dick” Hart is Steve’s brother and fiercely loyal and protective. Though he wishes success for the whole gang, his main concerns are Steve and his sister Ettie. Dick can be hot-headed and quick to anger, but his heart is in the right place.
Patsy is Joe’s younger brother and one of his closest confidantes. Patsy will do anything he can to keep the police away from his outlaw brother, including impersonating him to create a distraction, which he does in order to allow Joe to visit his girlfriend at the Vine Hotel.
Kate is devoted to her cousin Ned, and has more than a little crush on him. She would do anything for him and Ned returns her affections in kind. Kate, like her Kelly cousins, is a wonderful horsewoman and very mature for her age, the hardships of bring part of the Kelly/Lloyd/Quinn clan having forced her to grow up fast.
Joe Byrne’s closest friend since childhood, Aaron has been undertaking a dangerous operation posing as a police informant in order to keep the forces of the law distracted while the gang moves freely through the region. However, Aaron finds himself in the difficult position of being mistaken for an actual police spy by the gang’s supporters, while also being suspected of helping the outlaws by the police, and he must try desperately to keep everyone on his side or risk getting the gang killed.
* Image of “Ettie Hart” is used for illustrative purposes. This is not a portrait of the historical Esther Hart, but rather an unidentified woman photographed by Edward Sands in Bourke Street, Melbourne, during the era of the Kelly outbreak. [Source]
* Image of Dick Hart via Carter’s Price Guide to Antiques [Source]
* Image of Kate Lloyd, taken from Ned Kelly: A Short Life, belongs to Myra Brolan.