Australia has had a proud and enviable record of seminal contributions to hepatology, with many contributors. Thus, any attempt to summarize these contributions ab initio in a brief review article is a significant challenge, primarily because it is so easy to overlook or underestimate particular aspects. In this article, I have confined my comments primarily to the areas where the contributions have had a significant global impact and have clearly been recognized internationally. This means that many worthwhile Australian additions will be omitted if there was less apparent international impact. The first significant interest in liver disease in Australia was from the Melbourne group at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and Royal Melbourne Hospital, leading to seminal contributions to the description, diagnosis, aetiopathogenesis and therapy of autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. Others from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney contributed substantially to the effects of immunosuppression of autoimmune hepatitis and to early descriptions of primary sclerosing cholangitis. Other areas where Australians have contributed significantly include steatohepatitis, iron metabolism (and in particular hemochromatosis), viral hepatitis (both at the molecular and clinical level), portal hypertension, and transplant immunology. The remarkable contribution of Professor Dame Sheila Sherlock to Australian hepatology is also summarized.