Famous people from Brisbane: Those who helped put us on the world stage - Choose Brisbane


Famous people from Brisbane: Those who helped put us on the world stage

It’s an up-and-coming city on the world stage, but for some, they’re already there.

These Brisbanites are known for their sport, music and business accomplishments, but you may not have realised they were from the Queensland capital.

Brisbane has population that is growing weekly, currently with more than two million people living across the region. More Australians are choosing to move here than anywhere else across the country for the myriad lifestyle benefits, and has become the envy of our southern neighbours.

Here are some of our most well-known Brisbanites.

Ash Barty

The world’s number one female tennis player and the winner of the 2021 Wimbledon tournament hails from the Brisbane region, in Ipswich.

She first picked up a racquet at five years old, before taking on the international circuit. After a stint playing professional cricket for the Brisbane Heat, she returned to tennis and won the US Open before climbing to number one in 2021.

Barty is renowned and well-respected here and overseas for her gracious attitude, hard work and determination, and is a wonderful role model for up and coming junior players.

Jeff Horn

Jeff Horn is a middleweight professional boxer who gained the WBO welterweight championship title in 2017 and 2018.

Known as The Hornet, he beat Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao in April 2017 in front of a crowd of more than 51,000 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and ESPN’s most-watched telecast of the year.

Before he took up professional boxing, he competed in the Olympics and worked as a school teacher.

Sally Pearson

Sally Pearson is an Olympic gold-medal-winning hurdler and former world title holder.

She broke an Olympic record in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympic Games and has the fourth fastest time for the event.

Pearson is known for her relentless determination and strength.

Keith Urban

The country music star and inductee in the Grand Ole Opry was raised in Caboolture, in the Brisbane region of Moreton Bay.

The multiple Grammy-winner moved to Nashville in 1992 as a singer and guitarist. He gained international fame for his country pop and has won Grammys for Best Male Performance in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010.

Li Cunxin

Ballet performer and artistic director Li Cunxin gained international acclaim for his grace and strength on the stage.

He detailed his rise from poverty in China to the rigour of the prestigious Madame Mao’s Beijing Dance Academy and his dramatic defection to the US in his best-selling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer.

He is now the artistic director of the Queensland Ballet.

George Miller

The maker of blockbuster movies Mad Max and Happy Feet grew up in the Brisbane region, and attended high school in Ipswich.

He was among the New Wave of Australian filmmakers in the 1970s, and produced and directed a diverse range of world-renowned movies, including Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, to Lorenzo’s Oil and Babe: Pig in the City.

Miller won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Babe in 2006.

The Bee Gees

The disco-pop “Brothers Gibb” with their distinctive sound were an international music sensation in the 1970s, creating the soundtrack to Saturday Night Live with its hit song Stayin’ Alive.

Their many international hits won them a Grammy and have been credited with contributing to the mainstream popularity of disco. To this day, their music and their distinctive style of the 70s and 80s are still loved by their home town.