In 2015, a 30-year-old Michelle Payne made history as the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155 year history.
Last year, her rise to victory was turned into the inspirational Aussie film Ride Like A Girl somewhat softening - even if only for a second - the growing criticism being levelled at the horse racing industry.
Now, in a new interview on Anh Do's Brush With Fame on Tuesday night, the 35-year-old has spoken intimately about the string of tragedies that have shaped her family's life.
She was the youngest of 11 children, born on her brother Michael's birthday, who only lived three days on earth.
"That's how I got the name Michelle, named after him," she told Anh Do. "I feel really special about that."
Watch: Michelle Payne winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Post continues after video.
Michelle grew up near Ballarat in Victoria, and when she was only six months old, her mother Mary died in a car crash, leaving her father Paddy to raise the Payne children by himself.
In her memoir Life As I Know It, Michelle explained that her mum had been driving some of her siblings to school when another mum on the school run crashed into the car’s driver door.
"The other kids in the car were all okay, but they don't really speak about it," Michelle told Do.