Intelligent, Informed, Independent and (occasionally) Irreverent

Charles Kingsford Smith
Caroline Chisholm
200 Significant Australians
White Hat
Joan Hammond
White Hat
200 Significant Australians
Weary Dunlop
200 Significant Australians
White Hat
Percy Grainger

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Australia > 200 Significant Australians

The White Hat Guide to

200 Significant Australians

200 Significant Australians

The White Hat Guide to

200 Significant Australians

Anywhere in the world, if you ask a person who is intelligent and informed to name some significant Australians who have made a difference to the world, they are likely to name a number of scientists, medical researchers and inventors. These are areas in which Australia has excelled and this is demonstrated by the fact that Australia has produced a remarkable number of  Nobel Prize winners for its small population. Even those with little interest in scientific advancements will probably be able to point out Australia's achievement in sport and light entertainment and mention a number of names. Not bad for a country of not much more than 20 million people. And even though our notable writers, painters and other creative artists have not had the same impact on the world stage as our scientists, they have still been important in forging a sense of place and identity for Australians.

White Hat set ourselves the task of choosing 200 Significant Australians. What follows is the result.

Related information:

Pioneers & explorers

See also Douglas Mawson (geologist), Dick Smith (businessman)

Inventors & Engineers

  • John Bradfield (engineer)

  • - designer of one of Australia’s most recognisable structures
  • Sir Edward Hallstrom (inventor, manufacturer, philanthropist)

  • the bringer of practical refrigeration to the outback
  • William Hudson (engineer)

  • H. V. McKay (inventor, entrepreneur, businessman)

  • whose invention was the basis for a major manufacturing enterprise
  • Sir John Monash (soldier, administrator, engineer)

  • regarded during his lifetime as the ‘greatest living Australian’

See also Pro Hart and Australian inventors & invnventions


Science, mathematics & medicine

See also Shirley Strickland Delahunty (athlete, scientist) and Harry Messel (physicist, educator)

Business & philanthropy

Also see David Bussau (businessman, social achiever)



See also Australian Prime Ministers

Other social achievers


  • Peter Singer (philosopher, ethicist, activist) whose work has created both world renown and controversy..

  • Jack Smart (philosopher)

Also see Sir John Eccles (neurophysiologist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate) and  Mr Eternity (social achiever)


Also see Robert Hughes (writer, art critic)



Also see Ned Kelly (bushranger)

Theatre & film

Music & Opera



Also see Adam Lindsay Gordon


Also see Sir John Monash.and Banjo Paterson.


Also see Kerry Packer, Rupert Murdoch


  • Peter Allen (entertainer, songwriter)

  • Robyn Archer (performer)

  • Slim Dusty (singer)

  • John Farnham (singer)

  • Florrie Forde (popular entertainer and singer) probably Australia's most successful popular singer ever who became one of the best loved music hall entertainers in the world.

  • Clive James (polymath)

  • Graham Kennedy (entertainer)

  • Kylie Minogue (singer, actress, marketer) - although her talents as a singer and actress may not  be of the highest class she has recognized how to skillfully market her image as a total package and as such has proved herself a consummate business woman

  • Roy Rene ('Mo') (comedian)

Infamous Australians

See also:

Some forthcoming events related to 200 Significant Australians:

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter 'Great Things to do in Melbourne - the White Hat guide'
  • Dame Judith Anderson, AC DBE (actress) had an international career on stage and film and is regarded as one of the great stage actors of the 20<sup>th</sup> century.
    Dame Judith Anderson
  • Sir Thomas Blamey
    Sir Thomas Blamey
  • Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet
    Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet
  • Caroline Chisholm
    Caroline Chisholm
  • Zelman Cowen
    Sir Zelman Cowen
  • Alfred Deakin
    Alfred Deakin
  • Sir Edward ('Weary') Dunlop (surgeon, war hero) whose courage and compassion inspired a generation.
    Weary Dunlop
  • Louise Hanson-Dyer (Publisher, philanthropist) - portrait by Tom Roberts
    Louise Dyer
  • Matthew Flinders (explorer, navigator) who was the first to circumnavigate the continent as well as naming it 'Australia'.
    Matthew Flinders
  • Florrie Forde (popular entertainer and singer) probably Australia's most successful popular singer ever who became one of the best loved music hall entertainers in the world.
    Florrie Forde
  • Malcolm Fraser
    Malcolm Fraser
  • Adam Lindsay Gordon  (poet, horseman) who became Australia's first poet to be acknowledged as world class.
    Adam Lindsay Gordon
  • Mary Gilmore as she appears on the $10 note. To the left is a representation of William Dobell's portrait of her.
    Dame Mary Gilmore
  • Dame Joan Hammond - opera singer (and champion golfer). For more information see <a href="Hammond.aspx">The White Hat Guide to Dame Joan Hammond</a>.
    Dame Joan Hammond
  •  Robert Helpmann in Giselle
    Sir Robert Helpmann
  • Sir Isaac Isaacs
    Sir Isaac Isaacs
  • Albert Jacka, V.C.
  • Ned Kelly - photograph the day before his hanging
    Ned Kelly
  • Graham Kennedy
    Graham Kennedy
  • Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
    Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
  • Pater Lalor as represented in Jan Mitchell's carved bollard on the Geelong waterfront
    Peter Lalor
  • Dame Nellie Melba as she appears on the $100 note
    Dame Nellie Melba
  • Bust of Sir Robert Mensies in Prime Ministers' Avenue, Ballarat Botanical Gardens
    Sir Robert Mensies
  • Sir John Monash
    Sir John Monash
  • 'Oppy'
  • Tom Roberts (one of Australia's most succseful painters) - self portrait
    Tom Roberts
  • 'Smike' Streeton -aged 24. Portrait by Tom Roberts
    Sir Arthur Streeton