Unless you have a VERY good ‘ear’ for accents, it’s possible that you have mistaken Australians for English people.  Their accents sound similar to us Americans, though they’re not exact.  Here’s a short list of some famous Australians, some of whom you may have heard of.  Some of the may be new to you, but they are very well known in Australia.  A brief biography will get you up to speed as to what they’ve done to deserve being called ‘famous’.

OLIVIAN NEWTON-JOHN

A singer and actress, best known for her role as Sandy in ‘Grease’.   

ELLE MACPHEARSON  
 

One of best known of the New Page 1‘supermodels’, Elle’s appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated have made her a household name.

OODGEROO NOONUCCAL  
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was a poet, an actress, writer, teacher and artist and a campaigner for Aboriginal rights.  She was justifiably proud of her Aboriginal heritage, and became the first Native Australian to publish a book of poetry.  She fought for equality of her people.  

 

  DON BRADMAN  

Sir Donald Bradman is an Australian sporting hero.  His achievements on the cricket field from 1928 to 1948 are still among the world's best.  He's the only Australian ever knighted for services to the game of cricket.  

EVONNE GOOLAGONG CAWLEY  

Evonne Goolagong Cawley is one of Australia's most successful tennis players, as well as the first Aboriginal Australian to win Wimbeldon.  She won Wimbeldon twice and was a top ranked player for more than 10 years.  

MEL GIBSON  

Australia’s best known actor (Mad Max, Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Ransom, Payback) grew up in Australia, but he was born in New York.

FRED HOLLOWS  
Professor Fred Hollows was an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) who helped thousands of Aboriginal Australians regain their eyesight, through surgery and eyeglasses.  He dedicated his life to eliminating disease and poverty which was often the cause of the health problems in developing countries.  He died in 1993, but his work continues through his wife, Gabi Hollows.

 

INXS  

Australia’s best known rock band, INXS (pronounced ‘in excess’) had many hit songs in the Eighties and the Nineties.  Although they continue to perform to this day, the band was struck with tragedy when their lead singer, Michael Hutchence, died in 1997.
   

JOHN HOWARD 
The Hon. John Howard is the current Prime Minister of Australia.  He was sworn in on March 11, 1996, becoming the 25th person to occupy this high office.   

SIR ROBERT MENZIES  
 

Robert Gordon Menzies was Australia's longest serving prime minister, keeping
the top job for seventeen years.  Many Australians regard him as the greatest leader in their history.  Always a great believer in education, Menzies supported the building of eight universities and he developed Canberra as the nation's capital.  He died aged 83 - a widely respected figure to the end.

DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND  

Dame Joan Sutherland is one of the world's greatest opera singers, and some experts consider her the best soprano of the twentieth century.  She has graced the stages of all the world's great opera houses, and sung in nearly sixty different opera roles.

LINKS:
http://infohunt.nsw.gov.au/lakemac/library/links/fff/famousaussies.htm      (Famous Australians)
http://www.winapp.com.au/Famous%20Australians.html
      (Famous Aussies)