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 who are not particularly intelligent
or informed 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 20 million people.
And even though our 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
White Hat set ourselves the task of choosing 200 Significant
Australians. What follows is the result.
Pioneers & explorers
See also Douglas
Mawson (geologist), Dick Smith
Inventors & Engineers
Bradfield (engineer) and designer of one of Australia's most recognisable
Hallstrom (inventor., manufacturer, philanthropist) and the bringer
of practical refrigeration to the outback.
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
See also Pro Hart
and Australian inventors &
Science, mathematics & medicine
Dr Elizabeth Blackburn
(scientist) - winner of the Nobel Prize for her work in genetics
Bragg (mathematician, physicist, Nobel Laureate) - the youngest-ever
recipient of the Nobel Prize.
Vivian Bullwinkle (nurse, war hero)
Macfarlane Burnet (scientist)
Graeme Clark whose invention has transformed the lives of tens of
thousands throughout the world.
Clunies-Ross (vetinary scientist)
Peter Doherty (scientist)
who received the Nobel Prize for his work in immunology
Raymond Dart (anthropologist)
discoverer of Australopithecus africanus
(‘Weary’) Dunlop (surgeon, war hero) whose courage and compassion
inspired a generation.
Sir John Eccles
(neurophysiologist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate)
Frank Fenner who
among his many achievements was awarded the Japan Prize (the applied science
equivalent of the Nobel Prize) for his extraordinary contribution to the
worldwide eradication of smallpox.
Tim Flannery (scientist, author) whose books such as The Weather
Makers have been recognised worldwide as groundbreaking.
Florey (medical researcher) whose work resulted in the saving of
millions of lives.
Marshall (medical researcher) whose discovery regarding the
treatment of stomach ulcers (tested by infecting himself) to this day
is estimated to save over a million lives a year.
Mawson (geologist, explorer)
('Gus') Nossal (immunoligist, medical researcher)
Oliphant (nuclear physicist, Governor)
Professor Brian Schmidt
Dr Terence Tao (mathematician)
who is internationally recognised as a mathematical genius and in 2006 received the Fields
Medal (the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize).
(mathematician) who in 2018 received the Fields
Medal in recognition for his groundbreaking work.
Ferdinand von Mueller (botanist)
See also Shirley Strickland
Delahunty (athlete, scientist) and Harry Messel (physicist,
Business & philanthropy
Also see David
Bussau (businessman, social achiever)
Other social achievers
Also see Sir John Eccles (neurophysiologist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate)
Eternity (social achiever)
Also see Robert
Hughes (writer, art critic)
Also see Ned Kelly
Theatre & film
Music & Opera
Also see Adam Lindsay Gordon
Also see Sir John Monash.and
Also see Kerry
Packer, Rupert Murdoch
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.
(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
Some forthcoming events related to 200 Significant Australians:
Touring Exhibition : Zelman Cowen - A Life of Opportunity and Success
A Life of Opportunity and Success takes a look
at Sir Zelman Cowen’s
Hat's 200 Significant Australians) journey from young law
student to the Australian statesmen and public intellectual we remember him
as today. The exhibition includes artefacts, personal memorabilia and an
interactive timeline with photographs and films.
The exhibition will first tour campuses of Victoria University from May
to early August, before its official launch on 13 August 2019 by the
Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honorable Linda Dessau AC, at the
Jewish Museum of Australia.
Dates and venues:
- 15 May – 14 June: Victoria University, City Queen Campus, Law
- 17 June – 19 July: Victoria University, Footscray Park Campus,
- 22 July – 6 August: MetroWest Gallery, Footscray
- 8 August – 25 August: Jewish Museum of Australia
- 13 August:
Jewish Museum of Australia – Launch by Her Excellency the
Honorable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria
- 29 August – 31 August: Victoria University, City Flinders Campus,
Level 12 (part of the Sir Zelman Cowen oration & symposium)
- 2 September – 30 September: Victoria University, City Flinders
- 1 October – 31 October:
The Supreme Court Library