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Cooee6 Aussie Legends

More Aussie Legends

Click on the images to learn more.

Saint Mary McKillop

Fred Hollows

Rod Laver

Simpson and Donkey

Cathy Freeman

In northern South Australia a legendary natural event occurs...very rarely. The early explorers believed there was a vast inland lake. They only found vast dry salt dunes. Yet, once in a while it fills with floodwaters from northern Queensland. Lake Eyre is an amazing natural spectacle.


Legends can be created by animals, events and extraordinary human achievement. Although we are not convinced Ned Kelly was an achiever, he certainly has remained a legend.... for the wrong reasons maybe?

Cooee6 SnowyRiver
Cooee6 Ned Kelly
Cooee6 Gallipoli
Cooee6 Bradman
Cooee6 Pharlap


Cooeee! Our road trip takes us from Perth in Australia's far west to Adelaide in South of Australia. Travelling by car we will need to cross Australia's massive flat desert region named the Nullabor plain. The Eyre Hwy  (1675 Km.) flanks the Great Australian Bight coastline.

Although our modern history is short, we have produced many colorful and memorable people. Our legends are characters (good and bad) that have added rich story telling and progress to our nation. We have chosen to focus on our most notable (many of which can be found on Australian money). Of course there are many many more Australian achievers: we will meet them in topic 8. Legends are stories about actual (real) amazing achievements or events. Some legends are hard to prove, yet they continue to capture our imaginations. Legends that are difficult to prove are called myths. Click here to see a list of Aussie myths.

Unquestionably, the most enduring and defining legend is the courage and sacrifice that was forged by Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli in World War I. It is so significant that we have a national day of remembrance on April 25th. to acknowledge the heroism of ALL servicemen and women (in all conflicts before and since Gallipoli) who have given so much for our freedom and way of life. We have provided a short overview video (left).

Putting together a list of Australian legends is a matter of choice and opinion. We have chosen to focus on the choice of Australians that feature on our money notes. For added consideration we have featured other legends in the side panels and videos (left). Here is another list. Your class could debate who/what are Australia's top 10 legends.

AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson: Australian-born poet, ballad writer, horseman and journalist, most famous for works such as Waltzing Matilda and The Man from Snowy River. (Click to enlarge image)

Dame Mary Gilmore: She campaigned against a huge range of injustices, such as the inability of women to vote, the treatment of Indigenous Australians and poor people and pushed for reforms to old age and disability pensions, child endowment and better treatment of returned servicemen. 

Mary Reibey: Arrived in Australia as a convict. She became a very successful business woman in the shipping industry. With her success, she spread her fortune by funding charitable work and participating in church and education interests.

John Flynn: Founded the Royal Flying doctor service. It has and continues to be the medical "angel" of outback Australia.


David Unaipon: was an inventor, writer and public speaker, hailed for his contributions to science. He invented a much-improved sheep-shearing tool. He was Australia’s first published Indigenous writer. He was also a strong supporter and campaigner for improvements to Indigenous living conditions.

Edith Cowan: was a social worker and feminist who went on to become Australia’s first female politician. Cowan worked towards – and campaigned strongly for – reforms for women, children and migrants.

Dame Nellie Melba: was known for her amazing soprano voice – which had an even quality over its three-octave range – and her charitable character.


General Sir John Monash: was one of the greatest military commanders in Australia, as well as an engineer and administrator. Monash served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front during WWI and his outstanding victory at Hamel inspired a succession of further victories.

Reading poetry can be lots of fun. The most famous Australian poem features the excitement of the legendary bushman (stockman) horse riding skills. Written by Australia's legendary poet A.B (Banjo) Paterson, "The Man from Snowy River" is an Australian classic. Paterson also wrote Waltzing Matilda. Below (left) is a recitation by Jack Thompson. Paterson wrote many other poems. Click here to see the full list. Another famous Australian poet was Henry Lawson. Click here to see the full list.

  1. Do some quick research and select a poem.
  2. Print and practice reciting it.
  3. Summarize what the poem is about.
  4. Before a small audience,
    • Give a short summary of what the poem is about
    • Recite the poem you have chosen. 

Cooee 6

I have-

  1. Researched, and selected a poem.
  2. Copy pasted the words into my Cooee Club  Aussie Legends portfolio page.
  3. Recited my chosen poem.
  4. Attempted the Quiz / puzzle.


  • Significant Australian people (legends).
  • Significant events Eg. ANZAC


  • Nullabor Plain
  • Lake Eyre
  • Adelaide - South Australia
  • Basic research in researching a popular Australian poem