One of my favourite resources is the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB). The hard copy version is now up to 17 volumes (the 17th being 1981-1990 A-K). The on-line version includes all the material in the first 16 volumes, which covers people prominent in Australian history, who died before 1980. The ADB can be accessed online: http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/adbonline.htm
It's not just people who were famous on a National level who are in this Dictionary, there are many people with a local connection and I am listing just a few here. W.A.C A'Beckett of The Grange, Harkaway ; James Buchanan, an early Berwick resident (pictured above) ; Lord Casey, after whom the City of Casey was named ; Carlo Catani, the engineer who worked on the drainage of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp ; Edwin Greaves of Berwick and Monomeith ; Joseph Hawdon, a Eumemmerring squatter ; William Hill, founding President of the Victorian Farmers Union, and Parliamentarian who died at Nar Nar Goon ; William Lyall of Harewood, Tooradin ; Duncan MacGregor, early land owner at Dalmore ; Carl Nobelius of the Gembrook Nursery at Emerald ; Nettie Palmer, the writer, of Emerald and Jessie Traill, the artist, who lived at Harkaway.
The database allows you to search by name, occupation, religion, nationality and any key word. It a great resource for local and social historians.