Earlier this year, we had a look at 10 celebrities born or raised in Geelong. From the likes of Chrissy Amphlett, Portia De Rossi, Daryl Somers and Guy Pearce, we came to the conclusion that Geelong really is a breeding ground for exceptional talent.
Now we’ve dived a little deeper, and thought a few more names should be added to the list.
We’re proud to claim comedian, radio show host and actor Dave Thornton as one of our own.
Born and raised in Belmont, Thornton spent his early days at Belmont High School and studied Design and Art at the Gordon Institute of TAFE. Thornton broke onto the Australian scene as a 23-year-old at the Geelong RAW Comedy heats in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since with regular appearances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has also appeared on TV with the likes of Tommy Little and Tom Gleeson, and hosted morning radio with Fifi Box, Brendon Fevola and Byron Cooke for several years.
This is a face you might recognise from Geelong’s former iconic cement works silos painted by internationally recognised street artist Rone back in 2017.
Geelong born and bred (and current resident), Kelly Cartwright is cancer survivor and inspiring paralympian who represented Australia in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, before becoming the first above-knee amputee woman to climb to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in 2009. In 2012 she rose to the top in Long Jump setting a new world record and claiming the gold medal, as well as taking out silver in the 100m in London.
Cartwright has also been an ambassador for Make-A-Wish Foundation Australia, Rare Cancers Australia and The START Foundation assisting amputees to reach their sporting dream, alongside being a motivational speaker, health and fitness model, and even making a appearance on the fifteenth season of Dancing with the Stars.
If there was ever a name to be proud Geelong has birthed, it’s Kelly Cartwright.
Born Annika Schmarsel, Alice Ivy is Geelong born and raised, kickstarting her career in the music industry with the towns well-loved soul band The Sweethearts. Moving to Melbourne to study for a music industry degree, Ivy has been kicking goals ever since.
With a reputation as one most exciting, rising musical talents in the country, and having performed more than 50 shows worldwide including Australian national tours with Flight Facilities, Vera Blue and The Jungle Giants, SXSW 2018, Falls Festival and Splendour In The Grass, Ivy’s eclectic signature sound spans sample-influenced soul, hip-hop and electronic pop that she brings to life live as a multi-instrumentalist. With a trio of past singles on high rotation at triple j and a reputation for explosive live performances, Alice Ivy is fast becoming recognised as one of Australia’s most versatile and exhilarating artists.
Dr Peter Larkins is an Australian doctor and media personality as well as a former athlete, born and raised in Geelong!
He went to school at St Joseph’s College, and his sports talent was recognised from a young age. He later became a prominent track and field athlete who represented Australia in the steeplechase at the 1976 Summer Olympics, 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1981 World Cup. He won the national 3000 m steeplechase championships every year from 1976 to 1983, except for 1982 when he came second.
Earning an honours degree in medical science as well as Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees, Larkins travelled the world studying sports medicine and set up a private practice in the 1980s. He was one of the inaugural Fellows of the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians.
That’s not all though for this triple threat. Larkins has also being an AFL boundary rider for Triple M, Nine Network, Seven Network and 3AW, with his prognoses on players’ injuries becoming a popular and unique aspect.
As if you don’t know the frontwoman of cult 90s band Magic Dirt.
As an angst-ridden young girl who taught herself to play guitat, Adalita burst on to the scene with a few boys from G-town in Magic Dirt – drummer Adam Robertson, the late bassist Dean Turner and the band’s first guitarist Daniel Herring – becoming one of the most successful indie rock bands to come out of Geelong during the ’90s.
Cutting their teeth at the good ol’ Barwon Club, it was Adalita’s intense onstage presence — her striking appearance, ferocious voice and feisty persona — that was a key part of the band’s success.
In a past interview, she revealed “I’m so proud to be Geelong born and bred. love this town! It holds so many great memories and it was absolutely integral to my becoming a musician. Without Geelong, I never would be where I am today.”
Adalita often returns to her roots here in Geelong as part of the Connecting Song Project, which sees the musicians return home to mentor local, emerging unsigned musicians.
The man, the myth, the legend… thats right, Denis Walter is also Geelong born and bred.
The 3AW afternoons host, and the man behind the annual Denis Walter’s Carols by the Bay, burst onto the entertainment scene in the early 70’s and remains as popular as ever. He presented the WIN evening regional news for 16 years and has been a Melbourne radio host for another 16 years – all while recording 16 albums… Oh and Walter has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work in broadcast media and as a singer.
Jet is one of Australia’s biggest international success stories and Geelong’s own Mark Wilson was the man behind the bass.
Formed in 2001, Jet went on to have a stellar career touring all over the world in their own right and with mega artists such as the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, selling in excess of 6.5 million albums. The band dissolved in 2012, reforming in 2017.
Mark grew up in Geelong, completing his academic and then rock’n’roll schooling in local Geelong venues before joining what would become the juggernaut that is Jet. Like Adalita, he was also involved in the Connecting Song project. He has now dropped his bass and picked up a camera, specializing in the videography of poultry and other produce.
Ian Redpath, born in 1941 in little old Geelong, was one of the mainstays of the string Australian side of the early seventies and one of the most difficult batsmen to dismiss. He first attended Newtown State School before entering the Geelong College in 1953 where his sporting abilities quickly rose to the fore.
The Australian test cricketer played in sixty-seven tests as a member of the Australian Test Cricket Team and he played in the first One Day International between Australia and England on 5 January, 1971. He retired from senior cricket after the 1976 season, ironically hitting his first ‘six in his second last Test and demonstrating his peak ability, scoring centuries in both his last two Tests.
Calum Von Moger
Now we’re not sure if Calum was born in Geelong (we’ve read he grew up on a hobby farm before moving here), but as he earned a rep as being the ‘girth from Geelong’, we’re just going to go ahead and claim him… just like he claimed three Mr Universe titles a few years ago.
Calum von Moger started training at 15 years old, bulking his 188cm frame to well over 110kgs by eating seven meals a day, and quickly earned himself the nickname ‘Schwarzenegger Two’ in bodybuilding circles thanks to his Dutch and Austrian heritage.
Fast forward to 2020, Calum now lives in LA and has become one of the most popular fitness pros to cross over from the new generation of young competitors. With over 3.2 million followers on Instagram, he has built a brand, reputation and has managed to crossover to the entertainment industry. In 2017, Calum starred in the film, ‘Generation Iron 2’ (Netflix) directed by Vlad Yudin, as well as co-starred as a young Arnold in Bigger, directed by George Gallo. In 2019 he became the first bodybuilder to land a modeling campaign for luxury brand Gucci for Pre Fall 2019. More recently, His biopic ‘Calum von Moger Unbroken’ was one of the top sports film in the US last year.