The youngster showed composure of someone beyond his age when he volleyed home Raheem Sterling’s deflected cross past Matt Ryan.
Wayne Rooney rounded off a clinical counter-attack with a superb finish on 10 minutes after the break.
Eric Dier’s turned into his own net with a diving header 15 minutes from time to give the visitors a goal which their performance merited.
Rashford fires Three Lions ahead
The Thee Lions got off to the best possible start in front of a packed crowd on Wearside, after Jamie Maclaren almost left Fraser Forster blushing following his blocked clearance.
From that, England drove forward and after Rashford laid the ball off to Sterling, whose cross looped up in the air, the youngster hammered home a volley from eight-yards out.
The Manchester United striker was playing for the Red Devils’ under-18s side last October, fast-forward seven months and he has broken an England record on his full debut.
Aussies keep hosts quiet thereafter
After a couple of flowing moves from the hosts, the Aussies started to take control of possession the tempo of the game.
It wasn’t until the half-hour mark when England threatened, an ingenious pass from Rashford came to Adam Lallana, but Ryan was on hand to make a good save.
Despite their possession, the impressive visitors couldn’t make anything count, and just two minutes after Lallana’s effort, Chris Smalling had to make a vital interception to a dangerous cross.
Hodgson’s back four looked troubled at times during the opening half, but the hosts almost closed out the half with a two-goal advantage.
However, after a free-kick from the flank was worked to Jordan Henderson on the edge of the area, the Liverpool man forced a good reflex save from Ryan.
Rooney strikes after the break
England made a double substitution at half-time, where Rooney and James Milner entered the fray, which aimed to give them more options going forward.
And after the Aussies threatened once more, the hosts went on to double their lead in the game through their skipper.
Sterling picked out Rooney with a sweeping through ball after Rashford’s dummy allowed the ball to run through to him, and the England skipper smashed him shot into the from 20-yards.
Six minutes later England reproduced that swift counter going forward, but Rashford’s drilled cross through the six-yard box evaded both England players and rolled out of play.
Dier own goal proves not to be indecisive
Nathaniel Clyne struck over the bar from distance before the hosts’ hopes of a clean-sheet against the old enemy was dashed after Dier turned into his own net.
A brilliant cross from Mile Jedinak looked to be heading across the box and out of play, but the makeshift centre-half headed into his own net in an attempt to clear the danger.
Burnley’s Tom Heaton came on for the closing stages and late chances for substitute Ross Barkley and Henderson went begging, but England managed to see off a spirited Australian performance.