Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

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Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is Australia's pre-eminent dictionary of national biography. In it you will find concise, informative and fascinating descriptions of the lives of significant and representative persons in Australian history.

See what distinguished Australians are saying about the ADB.

The ADB is produced by the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University.


New Project Launched!

Jimmy Clements

Explore the ADB’s new project The Quest for Indigenous Recognition produced by the National Centre of Biography, ANU, and Professor Mark McKenna. Launched by the Hon. Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians, on 11 September 2023, it details 23 key historical events in the long journey to the 2023 Referendum on the Voice.

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8 July 2024

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31 May 2024

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1 May 2024

New entries April 2024

The following ADB entries have been published online throughout April 2024.
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Born This Day

Dudley McCarthy (1911–1987)

Dudley McCarthy (1911-1987), war historian and diplomat, was born on 24 July 1911 in North Sydney, second of four sons of New South Wales-born parents James McCarthy, schoolteacher, and his wife Ivy Iris...

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