From Sir Jack Brabham (first to win a Grand Prix in a car of his own design) to Tom Angove (inventor of the wine cask), from Bruce Thompson (introduced the first dual flush toilets) to Mary Fortune (the first female author of detective fiction) - here are the world's great ideas, inventions, feats and follies - as done first, by Australians. Did you know that Australians were actually the first in the world to: put wine in cardboard casks; explore both the Arctic and Antarctic by air; invent a portable pacemaker; manufacture and market the one-piece bathing suit; develop the wire-guided missile? Australians are among the most outstanding innovators on the planet, leading the world in achievements across many fields such as sport, the arts, medicine, transport and exploration. Before Arthur Conan Doyle, Australia's own Mary Fortune was the first female author of detective fiction and one of the most prolific crime writers of the nineteenth century. The glowing fire of Australian opals would have probably remained unknown to the world gem market if it hadn't been for Tullie C. Wollaston. Kay Cottee was the first woman to complete a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the world by sea, and long before the successes of Mark Webber there was Sir Jack Brabham, the first person to win a Formula One World Championship in a car that he designed himself. Great Australian World Firsts tells the stories of thirty remarkable Australians, many of whom are long overdue for recognition, and will delight and inspire with insights into unique human achievement.