Who's Who in Australia

Who's Who in Australia is an Australian biographical dictionary first published by Fred Johns in 1906 as Johns's Notable Australians. It is used as a resource for summary information on prominent Australians.[1][2][3][4] A series of "Who's Who" reference and commercial contact directories is currently published by AAP.[5][6]


Who's Who in Australia began as the vision of South Australian sub-editor Fred Johns.[7] Following his arrival in Australia in 1884, Johns compiled a volume of biographies of notable living compatriots. First published in 1906, Johns's Notable Australians contained nearly 1,100 entries. Subsequent editions were published in 1908, 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1922, before the book first appeared as Who's Who in Australia in 1927.

Fred Johns died in December 1932, bequeathing £1,500 to the University of Adelaide to found a scholarship in biography.[8]

From 2003, the directory was published online by Crown Content Pty Ltd[9] and later by ConnectWeb.,[10] a subsidiary of AAP.

Criteria for inclusionEdit

  • Who's Who in Australia lists persons assessed by the editors as having contributed "to Australian life on a national or international level".
  • Who's Who in Business in Australia lists persons assessed as significant business leaders.
  • Who's Who of Australian Women lists women with significant achievements in business, government, the professions, arts, sport, etc.

Cumulative editionsEdit

The National Library of Australia holds copies and reviews of Fred Johns's publications (1906–1922),[11] successors of 1927-8, 1933–34, 1935, 1938, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1950 and 1955, and subsequent series which were triennial (1959–1988) and annual (1991–present).[12]


  1. ^ Walker, Frank (2001-07-22). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life. The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  2. ^ "Who's Who of School Rankings". Better Education Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  3. ^ Mark Peel and Janet McCalman, Who Went Where in Who's Who 1988: The Schooling of the Australian Elite, Melbourne University History Research Series Number 1, 1992
  4. ^ Ian Hansen, Nor Free Nor Secular: Six Independent Schools in Victoria, a First Sample, Oxford University Press, 1971
  5. ^ Australian Associated Press (AAP)
  6. ^ The Who's Who Series, at Connect.web, 2018. Included are Who's Who in Australia, Who's Who of Australian Women and Who's Who in Business in Australia, each of which, as of 2018, was priced at AUD 559.
  7. ^ Edgar, Suzanne. "Biography - Frederick (Fred) Johns - Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adb.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  8. ^ "FRED JOHNS SCHOLARSHIP". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 23 November 1933. p. 16. Retrieved 26 July 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Who's Who in Australia (electronic resource) at National Library of Australia
  10. ^ Redirection page
  11. ^ NLA catalogue, F. C. Johns at official website]
  12. ^ NLA catalogue, Who's Who in Australia at official website]