Famous Australian Leaders

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If there one place under the sun where people from all backgrounds and all ages can live life to the fullest, it is definitely Australia! An oceanic country of the world, Australia is as much about Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef as it is about its people and culture. And while talking of people, how can Australian leaders be far behind? Influential, impactful and eminent, Australian leaders, with their administrative skills and leadership qualities, have clearly steered the country towards prosperity and advancement. This can be visible from the fact that the country today is one of the most developed countries in the world and amongst the wealthiest as well with world’s fifth-highest per-capita income. While Sir Henry Parkes, Father of Federation, first comes to mind in any discussion regarding Australian leaders, there have been many others who have played a dominant role in the country’s growth. Right from Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton to its longest and one of the most successful premiers Robert Menzies, John Curtin who led Australia through World War II, or Ben Chifley, who established Australian citizenship, each of them and many others have gained worldwide prominence for their progressive reforms and ideals. With this section, explore the life and works of Australian leaders.
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 1 
Bob Hawke
(23rd Prime Minister of Australia)
Bob Hawke
9
Birthdate: December 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bordertown, Australia
Died: May 16, 2019
The 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke was the longest-serving Labour leader and electorally most successful leader in the history. During his tenure he instituted a unified wage accord among the country's fractious labour unions that resulted in achieving greater industrial harmony. He also holds the feat of being the third longest-serving Prime Minister of the country.
 2 
John Howard
(Former Prime Minister of Australia)
John Howard
10
Birthdate: July 26, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

John Howard is an Australian former politician who served serving as the prime minister of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He is the second-longest-serving Australian prime minister, behind Sir Robert Menzies. As the prime minister, John Howard enforced new gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre of 1996. His tenure as PM has inspired several books.

 3 
Harold Holt
(Former Prime Minister of Australia)
Harold Holt
7
Birthdate: August 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stanmore
Died: December 17, 1967

Harold Holt was an Australian politician and the 17th prime minister of Australia. On 17 December 1967, Holt disappeared while swimming in rough conditions at Cheviot Beach. Following his disappearance, which gave rise to several conspiracy theories, Harold Holt was presumed dead. The Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre in Melbourne is named in his honor.

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 4 
Scott Morrison
(30th Prime Minister of Australia (2018 – 2022))
Scott Morrison
23
Birthdate: May 13, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sydney

Scott Morrison served as the 30th prime minister of Australia between 2018 and 2022. He led his coalition to an unexpected victory in the 2019 election. Morrison's term witnessed increased tension between China and Australia. He was criticised for failure to adequately address climate change in Australia. His coalition was defeated in 2022 election and subsequently he resigned as the leader of the Liberal Party.

 5 
Malcolm Turnbull
(29th Prime Minister of Australia (2015 - 2018))
Malcolm Turnbull
14
Birthdate: October 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Malcolm Turnbull is a retired Australian politician. From 2015 to 2018, Turnbull served as the 29th prime minister of Australia. He also served as the leader of the Liberal Party on two occasions. For his service to the Parliament of Australia, Turnbull was awarded Companion of the Order of Australia during the 2021 Australia Day Honours

 6 
Paul Keating
(Former Prime Minister of Australia (1991 - 1996))
Paul Keating
6
Birthdate: January 18, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Darlinghurst, Australia

Paul Keating is an Australian politician who served as the 24th Prime Minister of Australia and was in the office from 1991 to 1996. He previously served as the deputy prime minister of Australia and the treasurer of Australia. His tenure as the prime minister witnessed the enactment of the landmark Native Title Act to enshrine Indigenous land rights.

 7 
Tony Abbott
(28th Prime Minister of Australia (2013 - 15))
Tony Abbott
12
Birthdate: November 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England

Tony Abbott is a former politician who served as Australia's 28th prime minister from 2013 to 2015. Over the years, Abbott has had a major impact on society, thanks to his community service. He is an active volunteer for agencies and institutions like the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and Queenscliff's Surf Life Saving Club.

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
7
Birthdate: March 31, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: York Cottage, England
Died: June 10, 1974

Son of King George V and Queen Mary, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was educated at Eton, becoming the first son of a monarch in Britain to attend school. He made headlines with his affair with Beryl Markham. Owing to his multiple strokes, he was wheelchair-bound in his final years.

 9 
Robert Menzies
(12th Prime Minister of Australia)
Robert Menzies
4
Birthdate: December 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jeparit
Died: May 15, 1978

Robert Menzies was an Australian politician who served as the prime minister of Australia on two non-consecutive terms. He served over 18 years in total, becoming the longest-serving prime minister in Australian history. His government is known for its emphasis on higher education, national security policies, and immigration schemes. After retirement, he became the chancellor of the University of Melbourne. 

 10 
John Curtin
(14th Prime Minister of Australia (1941 - 1945))
John Curtin
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1885
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Creswick, Australia
Died: July 5, 1945

Born to Irish immigrants, John Curtin had witnessed working-class uprisings in his younger days, which led him to join Australia’s Labour Movement. He was the only Australian prime minister with a Western Australian seat. The strenuous job of leading his country during World War II affected his health.

 11 
Pauline Hanson
(Australian Senator for Queensland and Federal President of Pauline Hanson's One Nation)
Pauline Hanson
9
Birthdate: May 27, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia

Pauline Hanson is an Australian politician who has been serving as a senator for Queensland since 2016. Hanson is credited with founding a right-wing political party called One Nation, for which she also serves as the leader. Also an author, Pauline Hanson has published many books, including her autobiography, Untamed and Unashamed.

 12 
Penny Wong
(Australian Politician)
Penny Wong
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Penny Wong is an Australian politician. She has been a senator for South Australia since 2002. Currently, she is leader of the opposition in the senate. She is a qualified lawyer and has previously worked as a political advisor. She is a member of the LGBTQAI+ community and played a key role in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia. 

 13 
Edmund Barton
(Prime Minister of Australia (1901-03))
Edmund Barton
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glebe, Australia
Died: January 7, 1920

The first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton had also been a senior judge at the High Court of Australia. The federation movement leader was also a major force behind the drafting of the constitution of his country. After rejecting the knighthood thrice, he finally accepted the honor in 1902.

 14 
Malcolm Fraser
(22nd Prime Minister of Australia)
Malcolm Fraser
6
Birthdate: May 21, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died: March 20, 2015
 15 
Julie Bishop
(Jurist, Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer)
Julie Bishop
6
Birthdate: July 17, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lobethal

Julie Bishop is an Australian former politician who once served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. For several years, she was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. She studied law at the University of Adelaide and worked as a commercial lawyer before venturing into politics. In 2020, she became the first woman chancellor of the Australian National University.  

 16 
Peter Garrett
(Member of the Australian House of Representatives)
Peter Garrett
7
Birthdate: April 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wahroonga, Australia

Peter Garrett is an Australian musician, activist, environmentalist, and former politician. Renowned for his eccentric dance style and signature bald head, Garrett is best known for his association with the popular rock band Midnight Oil where he performs as the lead singer. A football fan, Peter Garrett supports the Essendon Bombers of the AFL.

 17 
Gough Whitlam
(Former Prime Minister of Australia)
Gough Whitlam
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kew Vic
Died: October 21, 2014

Gough Whitlam was an Australian politician who served as the prime minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975. During the 1972 election, Whitlam played a major role in bringing the Australian Labor Party to power. During the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, he was dismissed by Governor-General John Kerr, becoming the only prime minister to be dismissed in this manner.

 18 
Anthony Albanese
(31st Prime Minister of Australia)
Anthony Albanese
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
 19 
Peter Cosgrove
(26th Governor-General of Australia (2014 - 2019))
Peter Cosgrove
3
Birthdate: July 28, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Peter Cosgrove is an Australian retired Army officer. From 2014 to 2019, he served as the governor-general of Australia. Cosgrove achieved popularity when he commanded the International Force for East Timor, a multinational peacemaking task force, which ensured peace and safety during East Timor's transition to independence in 1999.  Peter Cosgrove also played an important role in the Vietnam War.

 20 
John Monash
(Civil engineer)
John Monash
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1865
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: October 8, 1931

John Monash was an Australian military commander during World War I. He played a major role in the Gallipoli campaign, which took place from February 1915 to January 1916 on the Gallipoli peninsula. John Monash is widely regarded as the most popular commander in Australian history and one of the most prominent allied generals of World War I.

 21 
Gladys Berejiklian
(45th Premier of New South Wales (2017 - 2021))
Gladys Berejiklian
8
Birthdate: September 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Former premier of New South Wales, the biggest state economy of Australia, Gladys Berejiklian was born to Armenian immigrants in Sydney. She made headlines when she resigned from her premiership in October 2021, amid investigations on corruption and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a regular at the Armenian Apostolic Church.

 22 
Tanya Plibersek
(Politician)
Tanya Plibersek
5
Birthdate: December 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney
 23 
Kevin Rudd
(26th Prime Minister of Australia (June 2013 - September 2013))
Kevin Rudd
11
Birthdate: September 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nambour, Queensland, Australia

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has been an Australian Labor Party leader and his country’s foreign affairs minister, too. After graduating in Chinese studies, he directly stepped into a diplomatic career. He has also worked for KPMG Australia as a Senior China Consultant and has penned a memoir.

 24 
Leonard Siffleet
(Australian Commando of World War II)
Leonard Siffleet
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gunnedah, Australia
Died: October 24, 1943

Australian special operations soldier Leonard Siffleet was an avid sports lover in his youth. Although rejected from the police force due to poor vision, he made it to the army. He went down in history for being brutally beheaded by the Japanese army, a photograph of which was later retrieved by American soldiers.

 25 
Alfred Deakin
(Former Prime Minister of Australia)
Alfred Deakin
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melbourne
Died: October 7, 1919

The second prime minister of Australia and Federation movement leader Alfred Deakin had developed an interest in literature and philosophy and had written several pieces of drama and poetry while studying to be a barrister. He later joined the Liberal Party. He spent his final years struggling with memory loss.

 26 
Jacqui Lambie
(Politician, Soldier)
Jacqui Lambie
7
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ulverstone

Jacqui Lambie is an Australian politician who was a senator for Tasmania from 2014 to 2017. she was re-elected in 2019. She was initially affiliated with the Palmer United Party (PUP). Following her resignation, she was an independent for a while. Today, she is the leader of her own political party, the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN).

 27 
Yanis Varoufakis
(Greek Economist & Politician)
Yanis Varoufakis
6
Birthdate: March 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palaio Faliro, Greece

Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek-Australian economist and politician who served as minister of finance for a few months in 2015 under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Essex. He began a career in academic economics before entering politics. Along with US Senator Bernie Sanders, he launched the Progressive International. 

 28 
Fraser Anning
(Politician)
Fraser Anning
7
Birthdate: October 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
 29 
Daniel Andrews
(Politician)
Daniel Andrews
8
Birthdate: June 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Williamstown

Daniel Andrews is an Australian politician who is currently serving as the premier of Victoria. He has been the leader of the Labor Party in Victoria since 2010. Prior to this, he worked as a research and political officer. He is a popular politician, and he received praise for his leadership during the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires and the Covod-19 pandemic. 

 30 
Annastacia Palaszczuk
(39th Premier of Queensland)
Annastacia Palaszczuk
6
Birthdate: July 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Durack, Australia
 31 
Henry Parkes
(7th Premier of New South Wales)
Henry Parkes
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1815
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canley, Coventry, England
Died: April 27, 1896

Henry Parkes was a politician who served as the premier of the Colony of New South Wales. Serving at different time periods throughout the 1870s and 1880s, Parkes was the longest non-consecutive premier in the Colony of New South Wales history. Considered the Father of Federation, Parkes was described as the most commanding figure in Australian politics by The Times.

 32 
Julia Gillard
(27th Prime Minister of Australia (2010 - 2013))
Julia Gillard
10
Birthdate: September 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Barry, Wales
Julia Gillard was the Australian prime minister from 2010 to 2013. She became the first lady prime minister, deputy prime minister, and leader of a political party in Australia. She has also held other significant positions, such as the minister of education. She has now devoted her life to academics.
 33 
Bill Shorten
(Politician, Lawyer, Trade unionist)
Bill Shorten
6
Birthdate: May 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Melbourne

Bill Shorten is an Australian politician who served as the leader of the Labor Party from 2013 to 2019. He was also the Leader of the Opposition during this period. He is considered a senior figure in the right faction of the Labor Party. He studied law at Monash University and pursued a legal career before joining politics. 

 34 
Peter Dutton
(Minister for Defence of Australia since 2021)
Peter Dutton
6
Birthdate: November 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
 35 
Edith Cowan
(Social Campaigner)
Edith Cowan
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Geraldton, Australia
Died: June 9, 1932

Edith Cowan was an Australian social reformer best remembered for serving as a member of parliament; she was the first Australian woman to do so. She is also remembered for working for the welfare and rights of children and women. In recognition of her contribution, Cowan has been depicted on Australia's fifty-dollar note since 1995.

 36 
Billy Hughes
(Prime Minister)
Billy Hughes
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 28, 1952
 37 
Barnaby Joyce
(Politician)
Barnaby Joyce
7
Birthdate: April 17, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tamworth
 38 
Quentin Bryce
(Teacher, Lawyer)
Quentin Bryce
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brisbane

Quentin Bryce is an Australian academic and politician. She served as the 25th Governor-General of Australia from 2008 to 2014 and is the first woman to have held the position. She attended the University of Queensland, where she studied law and became one of the first women accepted to the Queensland Bar. Following a legal career, she entered politics. 

 39 
Josh Frydenberg
(Treasurer of Australia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party since 2018)
Josh Frydenberg
6
Birthdate: July 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne
 40 
Alan Joyce
(businessperson, engineer)
Alan Joyce
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tallaght
 41 
Joh Bjelke-Petersen
6
Birthdate: January 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dannevirke, New Zealand
Died: April 23, 2005
 42 
Ben Chifley
(16th Prime Minister of Australia (1945 - 1949))
Ben Chifley
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bathurst, Australia
Died: June 13, 1951

Australian prime minister and Labor Party leader Ben Chifley is chiefly remembered for introducing banking reforms, the expansion of social programs such as immigration schemes, and his light on the hill speech. Born to a blacksmith, he initially worked as a railwayman and then joined politics through trade union movements.

 43 
Graham Staines
(Former Australian missionary who was a victim of anti-Christian violence)
Graham Staines
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Palmwoods, Australia
Died: January 23, 1999
 44 
Zali Steggall
(Politician)
Zali Steggall
5
Birthdate: April 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manly, Australia

Zali Steggall is an Australian lawyer turned politician. She has been serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Division of Warringah since 2019. She is a former Olympic athlete as well and is considered Australia's most internationally successful alpine skier. She became a lawyer after retiring from skiing and eventually entered politics as well. 

 45 
Bob Katter
(Member of the Australian Parliament for Kennedy since 1993)
Bob Katter
6
Birthdate: May 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cloncurry, Australia
 46 
William McMahon
(Prime Minister of Australia (1971-72))
William McMahon
7
Birthdate: February 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Redfern, Australia
Died: March 31, 1988

William McMahon was an Australian politician whose 21-year ministerial service is the longest continuous service in the history of Australian politics. From 1971 to 1972, William McMahon served as the prime minister of Australia. He also played an important role in the Second World War; serving in the Australian Army and reaching the rank of major.

Sarah Hanson-Young
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melbourne
 48 
Greg Hunt
(Politician)
Greg Hunt
4
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Melbourne
 49 
Marise Payne
(Politician)
Marise Payne
3
Birthdate: July 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney
 50 
John Gorton
(Politician)
John Gorton
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Melbourne
Died: May 19, 2002