Five Successful Australians With An Arts Degree

Typically, us Arts students cop a whole lotta flack from the world. Jokes about working at McDonald’s or perpetual Centrelink dependency abound, our extended family occasions are frequently punctuated by: “But what exactly are you going to DO with your degree?” and our mates in Law are just generally arrogant gits regarding their supposedly superior employability.

But take THIS, world. Turns out there are a few seriously successful Australians around with Arts degrees. This is a list to show to your mum and to link to all the haters on your friends list.


1. Kevin Rudd

Yup, old mate Kevin of the ‘07, ex-PM variety is an Arts graduate. Kev studied at ANU and graduated his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Chinese and first class Honours. Not too shabby!

2. Mark Scott

He might not be a household name, but Scott is a seriously big deal. As the current Managing Director of the ABC he has one of the biggest and most influential jobs in the country – and he’s got an Arts degree from the University of Sydney.

3. Germaine Greer

Arguably Australia’s most famous and successful feminist author, Greer completed her BA at the University of Melbourne. She rose to prominence after writing one of feminism’s seminal texts, “The Female Eunuch” and has followed it up with a long and distinguished career as a writer, commentator and academic.

4. Tim Minchin

Comedian and writer extraordinaire, Mr Minchin completed his BA with a major in English at the University of Western Australia before going on to become one of Australia’s most internationally successful and well-loved personalities. Yes, English as in literature, studying books and poetry etc. Take that, mum.

5. Gail Kelly

Okay, so strictly speaking Kelly is South-African/Australian, but as she is the CEO of one of Australia’s biggest banks, Westpac, we’re going to go ahead and claim her. Kelly earned her Arts degree at the University of Cape Town majoring in history and Latin. Today, Forbes Magazine has her ranked as the 56th most powerful woman in the world.