Famous Australians Facts For Kids

With a history going back more than 200 years, Australia has produced many famous people across all areas including sport, entertainment, aviation and even wildlife conservation. With an ever growing population and an enviable lifestyle, it is no wonder that Australians are achieving greatness on a regular basis! 

Read up on some of the people who have shaped what Australia is today, including the world’s youngest around the world solo sailor, a man who can wrestle crocodiles and the first trans-Pacific pilot!

Make sure you check out our other facts about people here!

Steve Irwin 

Crikey, it’s Steve Irwin! Known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert and television personality who was passionate about wildlife conservation. He was born in Victoria, Australia before moving to Queensland where his family set up a reptile park that later became Australia Zoo, a sanctuary for protecting and preserving animals, including crocodiles.

In 1996 he began hosting a television series called “The Crocodile Hunter,” where he had daring encounters with some of the world’s most dangerous creatures. 

In 2006 Steve was tragically killed in an accident with a stingray while filming a documentary. His legacy lives on through his family’s conservation work and the work of Australia Zoo. 

Need some crocodile stickers for a school project or to decorate your room? Here they are!

Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman is an indigenous Australian and former sprinter and Olympic gold medalist. She’s known for her incredible achievements in track and field, particularly winning the gold medal in the 400 metres at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After winning the race she carried both and Aboriginal and Australian flags, symbolising her heritage and reconciliation.

During her race she wore a unique full body running suit that was designed to minimise her wind resistance. The suit was so distinctive that it is remembered by anyone who watched. 

Fun Fact – Cathy also lit the Olympic flame at the beginning of these Olympics.

Cathy was a medalist at World Championships and Commonwealth Games as well as previous Olympic Games. She was named Young Australian of the Year in 1990. She is an advocate for indigenous rights and formed the Cathy Freeman Foundation which provides educational opportunities to Aboriginal children. Cathy retired from competitive sport in 2003.

Training to run as fast as Cathy? You might need some running spikes – take a look at these!

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is a famous actor, singer, and producer who was born in Sydney in 1968. You might know him best as Wolverine from the “X-Men” movies, where he played a tough superhero with metal claws. Before that, Hugh started out in musical theatre in Australia before heading overseas.

Fun Fact – Hugh Jackman appears in 11 Marvel films as one character.

In addition to being on screen, Hugh has worked off screen voicing characters from animated movies like ‘Flushed Away’ and ‘Happy Feet’. He enjoys doing broadway shows and has done performances of ‘The Boy From Oz’, ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. 

While Hugh has won many awards he has yet to win an Academy Award (an Oscar). 

Love X-Men? Check out these action figures to add to your collection. 

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson is an Australian sailor who gained fame for becoming the youngest person ever to sail solo and unassisted around the world at the age of 16. 

Jessica set off from Sydney in October 2009 and sailed for 210 days around the world. She sailed more than 23,000 nautical miles in her yacht ‘Ella’s Pink Lady’. She sailed across the Pacific Ocean, through the Atlantic Ocean, and finally back to Sydney in May 2010. The following year Jessica was named the Young Australian of the Year and then in 2012 she was given the Order of Australia medal.

Since returning, Jessica has written a book called ‘True Spirit’ and a movie has been made about her journey.

Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes is an indigenous Australian and former Australian rules footballer who played for the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL) from 1997 to 2015. 

Adam is one of a handful of players that have received the Brownlow Medal twice during their career – once in 2003 and again in 2006. The Brownlow Medal is given to the best and fairest player in the competition each year. 

He is also an advocate for indigenous rights and uses his fame to draw attention to racism and discrimination. Adam and his cousin Michael set up Go Foundation in 2009, an organisation that focuses on education and empowerment for Indigenous young people. In 2014 Adam was named the Australian of the Year for his contributions. 

Want to start playing AFL? Grab a ball here!

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

Famous Australians Facts For Kids

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was an Australian pioneering aviator who gained fame for his record-breaking flights. His most famous flight was the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia in 1928, taking 83 hours and 38 minutes!

Fun Fact – Charles was nicknamed ‘Smithy’.

Kingsford Smith joined the Australian Imperial Force and served in World War One before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps where he learnt how to fly. This began a lifelong love of flying and long distance air travel. He flew many long distance flights in Australia as well as pioneering new long distance flights from Australia around the world. 

He flew an east-west crossing of the Atlantic (from Ireland to Newfoundland) in 31 ½ hours and then went on to do a record breaking solo flight from England to Darwin in 10 days!

Charles is remembered in history as he was featured on the old paper Australian $20 note, the Sydney airport is named after him (Kingsford Smith International Airport) and his old plane, the Southern Cross, is on display at Brisbane Airport. Impressive!

Take a look at these model planes – a must have for kids who love flying!

We think this is a great summary of some very famous Australians. Can you think of any others?

People facts for kids

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Hayley Mill

Hayley is a lover of life and has lived and worked overseas, including in Thailand, Austria and the UK. She has been writing since she can remember, with her favourite topics being travel (50+ countries and counting!) and her family. You can find her expertise on our Fun Facts About Places. She loves taking her family on adventures and believes travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you 'richer'. She has a double degree, Bachelor of International Business and Bachelor of Commerce from Griffith University, majoring in Marketing and Chinese language, but now speaks more German than Mandarin!

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