Knowledge about the diversity and distribution of Australian coastal sabellids (Polychaeta) is still scarce. Examination of specimens housed in museum collections has increased the number of species recorded in Australia and helped to clarify the relationships among certain taxa of Sabellidae. Australian specimens belonging to a group of genera considered the most derived of the Sabellidae were the subject of this taxonomic revision, resulting in the description of five new species in four genera (Laonome calida, sp. nov.; Perkinsiana anodina, sp. nov.; P. longa, sp. nov.; Potaspina australiensis, sp. nov.; and Pseudopotamilla monoculata, sp. nov.). In addition, this is the first record of Potaspina Hartman, 1969 and Perkinsiana Knight-Jones, 1983 in Australia. A phylogenetic analysis of these and other apomorphic sabellids revealed their evolutionary relationships and supported the monophyly of most genera with the exception of Perkinsiana and Pseudopotamilla Bush, 1905. Some characters not considered in previous cladistic analyses were proven useful in elucidating relationships within Sabellidae. The diagnoses of Perkinsiana, Potaspina and Pseudopotamilla were emended. A dichotomous key is presented for identification of Australian apomorphic sabellids.