While the claim to the Guinness World RecordTM as the youngest person to fly solo around the world is a title that Lachlan Smart would like to claim, his aspirations are just part of the ever-growing narrative of young Australian’s achieving great things.
Despite being centred on aviation, Wings Around the World is a project equally dedicated to exemplifying that dreams can be achieved no matter how big or small. Age, size and circumstances are not limiting factors; instead they lie only as challenges worth overcoming for a final outcome.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a quick shortlist of 12 young Australian’s who have added to the history of successful Australian youth and made an impact with their actions.
Genevieve George – At the age of 22 Genevieve George set out to create employment startup OneShift, it was nothing more than an idea when she returned from travelling Europe. Since then the company has come on in leaps and bounds, and George is grabbing every opportunity she can by the scruff of the neck.
Nick Cummins – Known as ‘The Honey Badger’ he’s a likeable, talented football player and is also one of eight siblings to a single dad. After electrifying Australian rugby with his talent and penchant for headline-grabbing one-liners, Cummins was released from his Australian rugby commitments on compassionate grounds to make a living playing in Japan so he could support health concerns in his family.
Bindi Irwin – After overcoming the adversity of her father’s death in 2006, Bindi Irwin has continued the wildlife conservation work of her father & has successfully maintained herself as a strong voice in the media to help facilitate her cause. Oh, and she’s from the Sunshine Coast, the best place to be!
Alex Fisher – A fellow Australian Air Force Cadet, in 2014 Alex Fisher completed a 19-day solo journey around Australia known as the ‘Flight of Solidarity’. His flight was in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and was an impressive achievement for a 17-year-old.
Chaz Mostert – At 23 Chaz Mostert is one of the brightest young motor racing talents in Australia. Already with a Bathurst 1000 crown under his belt, Mostert is now in the hunt for the 2015 championship. He’s a likeable character and is just a young person living the dream…is there a better way to live?
Casey Stoner – A dual MotoGP champion and possibly one of the greatest talents on two wheels Australia has ever produced. Stoner moved away from his friends and hometown at a very young age to pursue his dream, making many sacrifices and succeeding against some of the toughest competitors in the world.
Wyatt Roy – Not everyone wants to jump on crocodiles or race fast and Wyatt Roy is a great example of a young person making good on their dream. At just 20 years of age Wyatt become the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament, and he’s holding his own against much more experienced politicians. Not to mention he’s undergoing training to be a pilot & grew up on the Sunshine Coast!
Melissa Wu – It’s hard to believe that at the age of 23 Melissa Wu has been competing for Australia in diving for just on 10 years now. Wu is Australia’s youngest ever Olympic diving medallist and by the age of 16 had medalled in every major international diving competition.
Ian Thorpe – He’s an athlete who inspired our nation and at 17 was the most successful athlete at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. His success continued in Athens in 2004, and despite missing a place on the team during his comeback in 2012, he showed us that you’re better off having a crack than not trying at all.
Ryan Campbell – This list wouldn’t be complete without Ryan on it. A former holder of the record Lachlan is now setting out to break, Ryan has been an inspiration to many young aviators after flying around the world, solo in 2013 and has become a strong voice in the aviation community.
Jessica Watson – A fellow Queenslander, who stopped the nation on her return from a sailing around the world solo. Jessica was awarded Young Australian of the year in 2011 and continues to inspire youth and work with the United Nations.
Any young Aussies who have taken on a monster swell at Bells Beach – Home of the Rip Curl Pro, the Victorian surfing spot is a bucket list location for young (and old) Australian surfers, but anyone who has taken on the big swells at ‘Bells’ is a hero in our books!