Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB or AuDB) is a national co-operative enterprise founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU) to produce authoritative biographical articles on eminent people in Australia's history. Initially published in a series of twelve hard-copy volumes between 1966 and 2005, the dictionary has been published online since 2006.

The ADB project has been operating since 1957. Staff are located at the National Centre of Biography in the History Department of the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Since its inception, 4,000 authors have contributed to the ADB and its published volumes contain 9,800 scholarly articles on 12,000 individuals.[1] 210 of these are of Indigenous Australians, which has been explained by Bill Stanner's "cult of forgetfulness" theory around the contributions of Indigenous Australians to Australian society.[2]

Australian Dictionary of Biography
Australian Dictionary of Biography
SubjectBiographies of notable Australians
PublishedCarlton, Victoria
PublisherMelbourne University Press
Publication date
Media typeHard copy

Similar titles

The ADB project should not be confused with the much smaller and older Dictionary of Australian Biography by Percival Serle, first published in 1949, nor with the German Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (published 1875–1912) which may also be referred to as ADB in English sources.[3]

Hardcopy volumes

To date, the ADB has produced eighteen hard copy volumes of biographical articles on important and representative figures in Australian history, published by Melbourne University Press. In addition to publishing these works, the ADB makes its primary research material available to the academic community and the public.

Volume(s) Years published Subjects covered
1 and 2 1966–67 Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1788–1850
3 to 6 1969–76 Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1851–1890
7 to 12 1979–90 Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1891–1939
13 to 16 1993–2002 Covered those Australians who lived in the period 1940–1980
17 and 18 2007–2012 Covered those Australians who died between 1981 and 1990
Supplement 2005 Dealt with those Australians not covered by the original volumes
Index 1991 Index for Volumes 1 to 12

Online publication

On 6 July 2006, the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online was launched by Michael Jeffery, Governor-General of Australia, and received a Manning Clark National Cultural Award in December 2006.[4] The website is a joint production of the ADB and the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, University of Melbourne (Austehc).


In 2018, Clinton Fernandes wrote that ADB is conspicuously silent on the slaveholder or slave profiting pasts of a number of influential figures in the development of Australia, including George Fife Angas, Isaac Currie, Archibald Paull Burt, Charles Edward Bright, Alexander Kenneth Mackenzie, Robert Allwood, Lachlan Macquarie, Donald Charles Cameron, John Buhot, John Belisario Alfred Langhorne, John Samuel August, and Godfrey Downes Carter.[5] [6] However, the Legacies database from which Fernandes obtains this information is ambiguous as to George Fife Angas's connection with slavery. It states that he did not lodge the claims himself but collected the compensatory amount for unknown reasons.[7]

The entries were written in the 1960s and await to be updated.


  1. ^ "About Us". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University.
  2. ^ Allbrook, Malcolm. "Indigenous lives, the 'cult of forgetfulness' and the Australian Dictionary of Biography". The Conversation. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie +ADB - Google Search". Google.
  4. ^ "Launch of Online Edition of the ADB".
  5. ^ Fernandes, C. Island Off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of statecraft in Australian foreign policy (Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2018), 13-15.
  6. ^ Paul Daley, "Colonial Australia's foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery," The Guardian, 21 September 2018,
  7. ^ "Summary of Individual - Legacies of British Slave-ownership".

External links

1880 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1880 in Australia.

1886 in Australia

The following lists events that happened during 1886 in Australia.

Bank of New South Wales

The Bank of New South Wales (BNSW), also known commonly as The Wales, was the first bank in Australia, being established in Sydney in 1817 and situated on Broadway. During the 19th and early 20th century, the Bank opened branches first throughout Australia and Oceania. It merged with many other financial institutions, finally merging with the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982 to form the Westpac Banking Corporation.

Berry, New South Wales

Berry is a small Australian village in the Shoalhaven region of the New South Wales South Coast, located 145 km (90 mi) south of the state capital, Sydney. It has many historical buildings which are listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register. Berry attracts many tourists who come to enjoy the diversity of landscapes, including coastal beaches, rich dairy farming, and forested mountains. The village hosts a local Produce Market which is held twice each month on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday. Together with Kiama 25 km (16 mi) to the north, Berry acts as a gateway through to other towns and villages along the South Coast of NSW via the Princes Highway and the South Coast railway line. Major highway building projects in and around Berry have now bypassed the village, creating uninterrupted motorway conditions for coastal travel south to Nowra and the South Coast and north to Wollongong and Sydney. This has resulted in the removal of all but local and visitor traffic within the village. Planning is underway to create a pedestrian-friendly precinct in and around Queens Street (the main commercial street).

Bunbury, Western Australia

Bunbury is a coastal city in Western Australia, approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It is the state's third-largest city, with a population just behind that of Mandurah.

Located at the south of the Leschenault Estuary, Bunbury was established in 1836 on the orders of Governor James Stirling, and named in honour of its founder, Lieutenant (at the time) Henry Bunbury. A port was constructed on the existing natural harbour soon after, and eventually became the main port for the wider South West region. Further economic growth was fuelled by completion of the South Western Railway in 1893, which linked Bunbury with Perth.

Greater Bunbury includes four local government areas (the City of Bunbury and the shires of Capel, Dardanup, and Harvey), and extends between Yarloop in the north, Boyanup to the south and Capel to the southwest.

Elders Limited

Elders Limited is an Australian-based agribusiness company that provides products such as livestock, farm supplies and grain as well as financial services to the farming community in Australia and New Zealand.

European land exploration of Australia

European land exploration of Australia deals with the opening up of the interior of Australia to European settlement which occurred gradually throughout the colonial period, 1788–1900. A number of these explorers are very well known, such as Burke and Wills who are well known for their failed attempt to cross the interior of Australia, as well as Hamilton Hume and Charles Sturt.

Liberal Party (Queensland, 1908)

The Liberal Party was a political party in the Australian state of Queensland in the early 20th century. It combined the main non-Labor forces, the "Kidstonites" of William Kidston and the Conservatives of Robert Philp, similar to the federal Commonwealth Liberal Party whose fusion it preceded. The Liberals held government from their formation in 1908 until defeat in 1915 after which they combined with other elements in the state to form the National Party.

Lieutenant general (Australia)

Lieutenant general (abbreviated LTGEN and pronounced 'Lef-tenant General') is the second-highest active rank of the Australian Army and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of lieutenant general. It is also considered a three-star rank.

The rank of lieutenant general is held by the Chief of Army. The rank is also held when an army officer is the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, or the Chief of Capability Development.

Lieutenant general is a higher rank than major general, but lower than general. Lieutenant general is the equivalent of vice admiral in the Royal Australian Navy and air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force.

The insignia for a lieutenant general is the Crown of St Edward above a crossed sword and baton.

List of Australian Army generals

The following is an incomplete list of Australian Army generals (i.e. a list of people who are or have been general officers in the Australian Army). For other senior ranking officers, see list of Australian Army brigadiers.

List of Australian architects

This is a list of Australian architects.

List of Caulfield Grammar School people

This is a list of notable past students and staff of Caulfield Grammar School and/or Malvern Memorial Grammar School (amalgamated with Caulfield in 1961). Alumni of the school are known as "Caulfield Grammarians" and are supported by the Caulfield Grammarians' Association.N.B. Years of attendance in brackets.All persons listed were students, unless otherwise indicated.

MMGS = Student of Malvern Memorial Grammar School.

List of Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science

The Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science is made up of about 500 Australian scientists.

Scientists judged by their peers to have made an exceptional contribution to knowledge in their field may be elected to Fellowship of the Academy. Fellows are often denoted using the post-nominal FAA (Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science).

A small number of distinguished foreign scientists with substantial connections to Australian science are elected as Corresponding Members.

Fellows are appointed for life; this table also contains deceased fellows.

List of Prime Ministers of Australia

Thirty people have served as Prime Minister of Australia since the office was created in 1901.The parties shown are those to which the prime ministers belonged at the time they held office, and the electoral divisions shown are those they represented while in office. Several prime ministers belonged to parties other than those given and represented other electorates before and after their time in office.

National Party (Queensland, 1917)

The National Party, later the United Party was a political party in the Australian state of Queensland from 1917 until 1925. Although allied with the federal Nationalist Party, it had different origins in state politics. It sought to combine the state's Liberal Party with the Country Party but the latter soon withdrew. In 1923 the party sought a further unification with the Country Party but only attracted a few recruits. Then in 1925 it merged with the Country Party, initially as the Country Progressive Party with a few members left out and then they were absorbed into the renamed Country and Progressive National Party.

Premier of Western Australia

The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive branch of government in the Australian state of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions.

The incumbent Premier of Western Australia is Mark McGowan who won the 2017 state election and was sworn in on 17 March 2017 by Governor Kerry Sanderson as the 30th Premier of Western Australia.

Prime Minister of Australia

The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior Minister of State, the leader of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister also has the responsibility of administering the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is the chair of the National Security Committee and the Council of Australian Governments. The office of Prime Minister is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia but exists through Westminster political convention. The individual who holds the office is commissioned by the Governor-General of Australia and at the Governor-General's pleasure subject to the Constitution of Australia and constitutional conventions.

Scott Morrison has held the office of Prime Minister since 24 August 2018. He received his commission after replacing Malcolm Turnbull as the leader of the Liberal Party, the largest party in the Coalition government, following the Liberal Party leadership spill earlier the same day.

South Australian Company

The South Australian Company was formed in London on 9 October 1835 by George Fife Angas and other wealthy British merchants to develop a new settlement in South Australia; its purpose was to build a new colony. The South Australian Company ended business in its own right on 17 March 1949 when it was liquidated by Elders Trustee & Executor Company Ltd, which had been managing its Australian affairs since the death of the last Colonial Manager, Arthur Muller in 1936.

St Peter's College, Adelaide

Saint Peter's College (officially The Collegiate School of St Peter, but commonly known as SPSC, Sancti Petri Schola Collegiata, St Peter's or Saints) is an independent boys' school in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Founded in 1847 by members of the Anglican Church of Australia, the school is noted for its history and famous alumni, including three Nobel laureates, forty-two Rhodes scholars and ten Australian State Premiers.

Three campuses are located on the Hackney Road site near the Adelaide Parklands in Hackney. The Senior School (years 9-12) and Middle School (years 7-8) comprises the bulk of the grounds and most of the historic buildings. To the south of the site are the Preparatory School (years 3-6) and Palm House (reception-year 2). The College also owns an outdoor education campus in Finniss, near Lake Alexandrina. The School is a member of the G20 Schools group.

St Peter's College is a day and boarding school and offers two matriculation streams in secondary education: the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).

St Peter's College, working with Martin Seligman and Lea Waters, has been instrumental in the development and implementation of positive education programs throughout Australia. The former Headmaster, Simon Murray, was Chairman of the Positive Education Schools Association.

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