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Cooee8 Our Achievers


Special Mention

Although Florence Nightingale was not Australian her achievements in medical nursing reached across the oceans. Over 40 Australian nurses have received the Florence Nightingale Award from the International Red Cross. Learn more about the "Lady with the lamp"

Sir Gustav Nossal

If you have been treated for an infection, you can thank Gustav Nossal. His work in the field of immunology deserves our ongoing thanks. Learn more.

We call Australia home. Do you? In 1997 Qantas launched a promotional campaign with Peter Allen’s song, “I still call Australia home”. It has become iconic. 2008 version (below)

While history acknowledges the Wright Brothers with the first powered flight in 1907. In Australia, Lawrence Hargrave achieved flight in 1894. Learn more.

Who are the most influential Australians? Do you recognize any of the following? Who are they? The list was complied in 2o18 by the Australian Newspaper.  Click in images to expand view

In the past Australia manufactured many products. Today, many iconic brands have disappeared or been taken over by foreign companies. The image above shows the new Australian Owned / Made logo. Learn more. From the list below can you identify the 100% Australian owned products. 

  • Kraft
  • Arnotts
  • Vegemite
  • Holden
  • Ford
  • Massey Ferguson
  • Bulla
  • Peters
  • Edgell
  • Heinz

Cooeee! As a small nation with a relatively short history (in the modern era) Australia has certainly been an achieving nation across a wide range of human endeavors. Our road trip takes us to Brisbane (capital city of the state of Queensland). The northern region of Australia has produced incredible achievements in the field of aviation (flight). Our national airline (QANTAS) was established in Winton (Qld) and flights began in 1920.

Another field where Australians have excelled is in science and medicine. (See the Nobel Prize list below)

Similar to Topic 6 (Aussie Legends), deciding who Australia's achievers are is open for debate. Every Australian is an achiever in their own right. Yet, some achievements loom larger than others. Below you will find links to online resources exploring Australian achievers. Can you decide who the top ten should be?

In the field of aviation Charles Kingsford Smith looms large. Born in Brisbane he went on to be a distinguished fighter pilot in WWI, afterwards he became famous shattering numerous distance records In 1929 he flew the Southern Cross from Australia to England in under 19 hours. His achievements attracted lots of controversy at the time. Learn more.

In 1928 Reverend John Flynn's dream to bring medical services to outback Australia was realized. Based in Cloncurry Qld, The Royal Flying Doctor Service has saved countless lives and is often known as the "angel of the skies." Learn more

Australia for its small population has produced a remarkable number of Nobel Prize winners.

  • Lawrence Bragg & William Bragg, physicists received the Nobel Prize in 1915 for their work in x-ray crystallography. 
  • Howard Florey received the prize in 1945 along with Alexander Fleming and Ernest Chain (both British) for their work on the medicinal properties of penicillin. It was Florey who later turned penicillin into the practical drug which was to save millions of lives.
  • Macfarlane Burnet received the prize in 1960 for his work on immunology.
  • John Eccles received the prize in 1963 along with Andrew Huxley and Alan Hodgkin (both British) for their work on nerve cells.
  • Bernard Katz - received the prize in 1970 for Physiology and Medicine.
  • Patrick White received the prize in 1973 for literature.
  • John Cornforth received the prize in 1975  for chemistry.
  • John Harsanyi (Hungarian & Australian) who received the prize in 1994 for his mathematical contributions to economics.
  • Peter Doherty and Rolf M. Zinkernagel (Swiss & Australian) who received the prize in 1996  for their work in immunology.
  • Barry Marshall and Robin Warren received the prize in 2005 for their discovery in 1982 of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium which causes stomach ulcers and gastritis.
  • Elizabeth Blackburn (dual Australian/American citizen) became Australia's first female Nobel Prize winner for her work in chemistry and genetics in October 2009 sharing the prize with her US-based colleagues Carol Greider and Jack Szostak.
  • Brian Schmidt received the prize in 2011 together with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter (both American) for their work in physics which showed that universe was expanding at an accelerating rate.

Australians are a very inventive and solution minded people. From black box flight recorders to electric drills we have made some incredible advancements. (see links below)

Of course there are many current living Australians who have achieved remarkable things from all walks of life. Often they are referred to as National Living Treasures. Click here to see the list.

Links to Online resources.

  1. Who is Australia's most notable achiever in your opinion?
  2. Using all the resource links in this topic research and select ONE Australian that has achieved in a field that most interests you.
  3. Undertake more deep research on your selected Australian. Know all there is to know about him or her. What was it like to live this person's life. Can you imagine yourself "walking in their shoes"?
  4. Prepare a Power point presentation that will support you as you present your chosen notable Australian to an audience. Use the guidelines shown in the video below.
  5. Your teacher might decide to have a special event: Australian Notables. Family and friends might be your audience.

Power point presentation


Power point presentation


Cooee 8


  1. Covered all the content in this topic
  2. Chosen, researched and composed a 5/20 slide presentation to support the public speaking about mu chosen Australian.
  3. Presented my chosen Australian Achiever / Notable.
  4. Created a new slide in my Cooee Portfolio and added a link to my Power point  presentation.

History: Notable Australians

  • Explores a wide variety of Australians who have made outstanding contributions to the world and our way of life

  • Online research
  • Composing a Power point presentation
  • Presenting to an audience (public speaking)