50 Great South Australians

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50 Great South Australians

#1 Post by Wayno » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:08 am

from AdelaideNow, maybe the full list was published in the sunday mail?

WHICH 50 people were most influential in steering South Australia to where we are today - our achievements, our culture, our identity, our sense of self?

That is the question the Sunday Mail put to respected journalist and writer DES RYAN when it asked him to compile the list that appears in a two-part Insight special series.

"Any list of "50 Greatest South Australians" is certain to cause argument," Ryan responded.

"Everyone will have a different opinion on whether this list is the definitive version or whether better candidates have missed out. The problem in selecting any "greatest" list is to decide whom not to choose.

"The only meaningful criterion for selection is the contribution these people made to the development of SA in any field. Being born in South Australia is not a necessity. None of the early pioneers - the ones who put SA on the map - was born here, but the list would not be complete without some of them.

"A few individuals are unavoidable inclusions. Sir Douglas Mawson, for example, would make most people's list for any number of good reasons including his heroics as an Antarctic explorer.

"Early feminist Catherine Helen Spence is another obvious choice. But is former premier Charles Cameron Kingston, a notorious bully and womaniser, a deserving great?

"The wine industry pioneers - the Seppelts, Penfolds, Gramps, Hardys, and so on - are not fully represented owing to the weight of their numbers and the restricted available space.

"One condition for entry on our list is to be dead. There are plenty of potential candidates among the living - Bob Hawke, Lowitja O'Donohue, Cheong Liew and Hugh Stretton - but they will have to wait their turn in some future list.

"So, in the expectation of causing widespread dispute, here is the Sunday Mail's `50 Greatest South Australians'."

AYERS, Henry (1821-1897)

Legislator and businessman, English-born Ayers arrived in Adelaide in 1840 and became wealthy from shares in the Burra copper mines, which he managed. In 1857 he entered the first Legislative Council under responsible government in SA. Chief secretary in 10 ministries, the premier seven times and he represented SA at several inter-colonial conferences.

BEADELL, Leonard "Len" (1923-1995)

Surveyor and road builder, born on a NSW farm, Beadell was responsible for surveying and selecting Outback military sites at Woomera, Emu and Maralinga, and developing more than 6000km of desert roads, often naming them after the members of his own family.

BEJAH, Dervish (1862?-1957)

Camel driver, born in Baluchistan, India (now Pakistan), Bejah became famous as the "Afghan" in charge of camels in a disastrous 1896 South Australian-led expedition north through the central deserts. Bejah led the way, kept the camels alive, scouting for water in terrible country and gathering vegetation, until the remnants of the expedition arrived in Derby. Settling at Marree, his camels and their loads of wool and stores were well known throughout the far north of South Australia.

BLACK, Dorothea "Dorrit" Foster (1891-1951)

Artist, born at suburban Burnside, Adelaide, Black played an outstanding role as a pioneer and supporter of modernism in Australia. An early disciple of Cubism, she held the first of her six one-woman shows in Sydney in 1929. Settling eventually in her studio-house at Magill, she taught landscape painting at the School of Arts and Crafts, and was a key player in the Contemporary Art Society.

BLACKBURN, Arthur Seaforth (1892-1960)

Soldier hero and lawyer, born at suburban Woodville, Blackburn landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, and reached a point further inland than any other Australian soldier in the campaign. At Pozieres in 1916, he commanded a party of 50 men which destroyed an enemy strong point. Blackburn led four successive bombing parties and he was awarded the Victoria Cross. In 1941, he accepted the surrender of Damascus. In 1942, captured in Java, he was a prisoner of the Japanese until September 1945. Founding member of the RSL in SA. City coroner (1933-47).

BRADMAN, Donald "Don" George (1908-2001)

Cricketer, born in Cootamundra and raised in Bowral, Bradman was the most dominant batsman in Australian cricket history, with a first-class batting average of 99.94. Began his first-class career for NSW at Adelaide Oval in 1927 and ended his playing days on the same ground in 1949. Spent long periods after his retirement as a Test cricket selector and sitting on the Australian Cricket Board and the SA Cricket Association.

BRAGG, William Henry (1862-1942), and William Lawrence (1890-1971)

Physicists, father and son, and Nobel Prize winners. English born and educated William Henry was professor of mathematics and physics at Adelaide University (1886-1909). In 1896, learning of the discovery of X-rays, he produced an X-ray photograph of his six-year-old son William Lawrence's broken elbow. In 1915, their groundbreaking work in the X-ray analysis of crystal structure won the two Braggs the Nobel Prize for physics. At 25, the Adelaide born and educated William Lawrence was the youngest Nobel laureate.

BONYTHON, John Langdon (1848-1939), John Lavington (1875-1960) and John Langdon (1905-1922)

London-born John Langdon started work at The Advertiser at the age of 17 and, after profitable speculation in mining shares, became the sole proprietor and editor for 40 years until 1923. He fostered such causes as federation and universal schooling, taking the same issues into the parliament when he was elected to the first House of Representatives in 1901. His $100,000 gift in the Great Depression helped complete the construction of SA Parliament House. His eldest son John Lavington joined the family newspaper business and chaired numerous public bodies including the SA Housing Trust. His son John Langdon chaired Advertisers Newspapers Ltd and co-founded Santos.

BULLWINKEL, Vivian Statham (1915-2000)

Born at Kapunda and raised in Broken Hill, Bullwinkel enlisted as an army nurse in 1941 and was posted to Singapore. Bombed during the evacuation, she and her nursing comrades surrendered to the Japanese. After being made to stand in the ocean for 18 hours, her companions were shot dead but Bullwinkel, with other nurses, managed to escape into the jungle. Surrendering again, she and the others were held as POWs for more than three years. She received an MBE for bravery in 1973.

DAWSON, Peter Smith (1882-1961)

Singer, Adelaide-born Dawson was described as the finest English baritone in the years leading up to World War I. The gramophone record made Dawson's a household name in many countries. In 1904 he made a test record for the Edison Bell Phonograph Company and began his 50-year career as a recording artist.

DUNSTAN, Donald Allan (1926-1999)

Politician, premier and author, born in Fiji and educated at St Peter's College and Adelaide University, Dunstan oversaw landmark social and cultural reforms. In the so-called "Dunstan decade" of the 1970s, his key legislation covered the first Aboriginal land rights act, consumer protection, electoral law reform, equal opportunity, urban planning, lotteries and gaming, licensing laws and homosexual law reform. Dunstan played an active role in Adelaide's cultural and artistic life.

ELDER, Thomas (1818-1897)

Scottish-born Elder arrived in Adelaide in 1854 and made a fortune in copper mining and through his partnership with Robert Barr Smith in Elder Smith & Co, which used modern management practices to develop vast dryland farming leases in SA. The company became one of the world's largest wool sellers.

ELPHICK, Gladys (1904-1988)

Born in Adelaide to a Kaurna-Ngarrindjeri couple, Elphick was a leading figure in asserting Aboriginal status in SA. Founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women in SA. Among other influential roles, she served on the state Aboriginal Advisory Board in the 1960s, helped to found the Aboriginal Medical Service in the 1970s as well as the Aboriginal Emergency Shelter for women awaiting hospital treatment. Awarded an MBE in 1971 and was named SA Aboriginal of the Year in 1984.

EYRE, Edward John (1815-1901)

English-born Eyre migrated to Sydney in 1833 and was among the first to overland mobs of cattle and sheep from NSW to the infant colony of South Australia. In 1841, enduring thirst, hunger, exhaustion, heat, torrential rain and freezing nights, he took charge of an effort to find a land route between Adelaide and the Swan River in WA. Returning to Adelaide, Eyre was made the protector of Aborigines at Moorundie, near Blanchetown, until he was appointed lieutenant governor of New Zealand and eventually the governor of Jamaica.

FAULDING, Francis Hardey (1816 - 1868)

Manufacturing chemist, born in Yorkshire, Faulding opened a pharmacy in Rundle St in 1845. The pharmacy flourished and the firm FH Faulding & Co, formed in partnership with Luther Scammell, survives as one of the oldest wholesale druggists and manufacturing chemists in Australia. In 1863, on a visit to England, Faulding ordered on behalf of the Adelaide City Council a set of eight bells, the Albert Bells, for the tower of the Town Hall.

FLOREY, Howard Walter (1898 - 1968)

Nobel Prize winning medical scientist, born at Malvern, Florey developed penicillin as an antibacterial agent, inaugurating the antibiotic era. The clinical trials in the early 1940s were so dramatic that penicillin was considered to be almost miraculous. Florey was co-winner of Nobel prize for physiology and medicine in 1945.

FLYNN, John (1880-1951)

Presbyterian minister, born in Victoria, Flynn was the founder and superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission, based at Oodnadatta, and what later became the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Ahead of his time in creating a network of support and medical care for inland Australia, especially for women and children, he was also outspoken on the plight of Aborigines.

GAWLER, George (1795-1869)

Soldier, born in England, Gawler became the second governor of SA and arguably saved the fledgling colony from collapse. In 1838 he found Adelaide in a depression owing to land speculation, with land surveys not yet completed and immigrants camped in parks and streets. Treating the situation as an emergency, he developed the surrounding country, created a public building program to employ the poor, organised a police force and supported religion and education. Many localities were given Aboriginal names at Gawler's insistence, for example the Onkaparinga River.

HANRAHAN, Barbara (1939-1991)

Writer and artist, Adelaide-born Hanrahan was raised in a household of women at Thebarton, which formed the backbone of her fiction. Her work was noted for its evocative details of suburban Adelaide and of working class lives, particularly women. She also achieved success as a printmaker. Her best known prints are those used on the covers of her 14 novels and short story collections and her art is held in the Australian National Gallery and in most state galleries.

HAYES, Colin (1924-1999)

Thoroughbred horse trainer, born at Semaphore and educated at Woodville High School, Hayes was SA's leading trainer, winning 7398 races and $40.5m in prize money up until 1990. He was an expert handler and judge of horses, and an astute businessman. In 1965 he moved his operation from Semaphore Park to "Lindsay Park" in the Barossa Valley.

HELPMANN, Robert "Bobby" Murray (1909-1986)

Dancer, choreographer, actor and director, born in Mount Gambier, Helpmann earned international acclaim for himself and the Australian Ballet. His acting ranged from Shakespeare to Noel Coward and included musicals, revue, pantomime, radio, film and television. Helpmann choreographed 11 ballets including four for the Australian Ballet, to which he attracted Fonteyn and Nureyev as guest stars.

HERBIG, Family

The "Herbig Tree" in the Barossa Valley is a symbol of working class family pioneering. Johann Friedrich Herbig and his wife Carolyn lived the first five years of their married life in a hollow redgum at Springton, from 1858. Carolyn gave birth to two of her 16 children inside the tree. The tree and surrounding land is a dedicated Herbig family memorial.

HOLDEN, Edward Wheewall (1885-1947)

Car manufacturer and politician, educated at Prince Alfred College and Adelaide, the family name Holden has become synonymous with the Australian motor industry. Joining the family firm of carriage builders, Holden was influential in the expansion into motor-body building and in the use of automated mass production. In close association with General Motors, Holden vehicles established a dominant market position throughout mainland Australia. Holden was an MLC from 1935-47.

KIDMAN, Sidney (1857-1935)

Pastoralist and bushman, born at Athelstone and educated at private schools in Norwood, Kidman created a vast network of cattle stations across Australia that allowed him to transfer drought-affected stock to better areas and to sell to markets which offered him the best price. Leaving home with five shillings in his pocket and riding a one-eyed horse, by World War I the area he controlled was as large as Victoria and formed the basis of a wealthy commercial empire run by Kidman from Adelaide.

KINGSTON, Charles Cameron (1850-1908)

Lawyer and politician, born in Adelaide, Kingston was a controversial figure, prone to duels, street brawling and lechery, who became premier in 1893 while under sentence to keep the peace. He introduced the Women's Suffrage Bill in 1894 and helped draft and frame the Australian Constitution. He was a minister in the first Commonwealth government.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

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