One of Australia's greatest aviators Herbert John Louis ('Bert') Hinkler was born at Bundarberg in 1892. An early fascination with flight led him to join the Queensland Aero Club in 1910, three years later finding employment with the Sopwith Aircraft Company in England.
During World War I Hinkler became in turn an observer and gunner with the Royal Naval Air Service before transferring to the Royal Air Force in early 1918 after qualifying as a pilot. Following the cessation of hostilities, Hinkler found work with the Avro Aviation Company and made a number of pioneering long-distance flight in their aircraft. In 1928 he made the first solo flight from England to Australia in just over 15 days. Over the next five years Hinkler completed a succession of record-breaking flights, but in early 1933 while attempting to make yet another solo flight from England to Australia his aircraft crashed in Northern Italy. By the time rescuers finally arrived at the scene Hinkler had succumbed to his injuries.