The Characters of Australia

The Characters of Australia, by Greg Tingle


Australia Celebrities

Hope found in whale dreamtime (Kim Kindersley, Bunna Lawrie and Jack Thompson)


Greg Tingle and "Crocodile" Mick Pitman

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The land "down under" has been the home to some amazing characters over the years.

One may ask, what is a "character"?

I'm talking about the lovable folks who give us a laugh, the human caricatures, telling a good joke, or just being themselves, be it in face to face encounters, perhaps via their antics in TV, film, sport or in other genres.

These characters can be found many places. Some have stronger "name value" than others, some possess no "name value" to speak of, but when you meet them, you know who they are.

In my endeavors, particularly over the past few years, I have had the privilege and pleasure to regularly liaise and deal with a number of characters. Some of them are no longer with us, many are, and are to be treasured.

Let's take a look at some of the characters that make up the landscape of Australia:

Crocodile Mick Pitman. An authentic Crocodile Hunter from the top end of Australia. Has been involved in a war of words with Steve Irwin for years. Pitman is the real deal in crocodile hunters, and enjoys the respect of the crocodile industry, and will go down in history as a pioneer of crocodile hunting. A true blue Australian who remains level headed, and who hasn't gone Hollywood.

Tony Rafty O.A.M. - artist and caricaturist. This former war journalist has sketched the "whose who" of the entertainment, sports and media world.

Keith F Adams "Crocodile Safari Man". The original Crocodile Hunter. Produced and directed the classic Australian documentary, "Northern Safari", based on his travels across Australia in a Buick!

Steve "Crusher" Rackman - you know him as "Donk", from the Crocodile Dundee movies. "The Crusher" is a living legend of the glory days of Australian World Championship Wrestling.

Mario Milano - "The Italian Stallion". Another legend of Australian professional wrestling.

Big Chief Little Wolf - In the Aussie wrestling rings of yesteryear, there was no better than The Chief.

Jack Little - The late, great, legendary sports and professional wrestling announcer. Catch phrase was "That's all there is folks, there isn't any more"! Little created magic and excitement all over the land.

Gary "Cosy Cool" Young - Young is best known for his producing and acting in the classic cult film, "Cosy Cool", where he played a "cool" biker, alongside John Wilson. Young also produced "Nuts, Bolts & Bedroom Springs", and the acclaimed drag racing documentary, "Wheels On Fire". Now based in Goulburn, NSW, he is the neighbour of the fellow who owns "The World's Largest Steer".

"Big" Tim Bristow - Bristow passed away in 2002. Australia's best-loved gangster / private eye.

Slim Dusty - another great identity who passed away (2004). Australia's legendary country music artist, with a heart of gold. Dusty's name lives on, and a number of community initiatives bear his name.

Paul "Hoges" Hogan - a painter / builder come good. Found his niche in comedy and film.

Kerry Packer (the late) - Head of Fairfax and Australia's richest man. Love him or hate him, he's a character. His verbal sparring matches in boardrooms across Australia are legendary.

John "Singo" Singleton - His media ownership powers and public speaking engagements, see "Singo" as a "must have" on most lists.

Max Markson - If there is a deal to be made, you can bet Markson is close to the action.

Derryn Hinch - "The Human Headline" makes the news just about every single time. Outspoken, controversial and successful.

Phillip Adams O.A.M. - A living treasure of Australia. Host of the ABC's "Late Night Live". A wit and insight largely unmatched anywhere in the world.

Doug Mulray - A radio broadcasting legend in every sense of the word. Amazing wit and intelligence.

John "Lawsie" Laws - There's only one golden voice of Australian radio. Has been hamming it up for 50 years plus.

Ray Martin - Has pretty much seen and done it all in media. One must wonder how he really feels about some of the less serious stories on "A Current Affair". At his best on award ceremonies.

As you can see, an eclectic mix.

Sure, some won't give us a second to forget who they are, but others are happy to be more obscure and to fade off into the sunset. Either way, they are the immortals. These guys have all been manifest and have flourished in the "lucky country".

Look around your local neighbourhood - there are all manner of characters everywhere, some just happen to be better known than others. Take a look in the mirror!


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Greg Tingle - Underbelly launch in Sydney


James Packer (Crown Limited boss)


Bunna Lawrie


Steve "Crusher" Rackman

Crocodile Mick Pitman

Keith F Adams

Mario Milano

Big Chief Little Wolf

Gary Young

Kerry Packer

John Singleton

Max Markson

Derryn Hinch

Phillip Adams

John Laws


Tony Rafty

Crocodile Mick Pitman

Derryn Hinch

Doug Mulray

David Little Wolf

Max Markson

The Golden Age Of Professional Wrestling (ABC Radio Interview Forum)


Tony Rafty

Tim Bristow

Kerry Packer

Max Markson