As society changes, newspapers reflect the attitudes of the times.

   
     
 

1911
Administration of Northern Territory transferred from South Australia to Commonwealth Government.
Federal Capital Territory (later ACT) established.
Douglas Mawson leads first Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
1912
Adelaide’s The Mail (later Sunday Mail) first issued.
First automatic telephone exchange in Australia installed at Geelong, Victoria.
1913
First Commonwealth of Australia postage stamp issued.
National capital of Australia officially named Canberra.
1914
Adelaide–Melbourne telephone line opens.
Australia enters World War I; volunteer servicemen recruited.
Australian Red Cross founded.
1915
Opal found at Coober Pedy.
South Australians WH and WL Bragg share Nobel Prize for Physics for work in X-ray crystallography.
1916
25 April officially named and widely observed as Anzac Day.
Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia (later RSL) founded.
Six o’clock closing of hotels in most states.
National conscription referendum—‘no’ vote succeeds.
1917
Transcontinental railway completed with linking of Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie section.
Second national referendum rejects conscription.
1918
First direct wireless message transmitted from Britain to Australia.
South Australian German place and district names changed under provisions of Nomenclature Act of 1917.
Holden’s Motor Body Builders begins large-scale production of car bodies in Adelaide.
1919

Worldwide influenza epidemic reaches Australia—eventual death toll more than 12,000.
Ross and Keith Smith and crew land in Darwin and win £10,000 prize for flying from England to Australia in under 30 days.
1920
Australian Country Party founded. Communist Party of Australia formed.
Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry (later CSIRO) established.
1921
Western Australia’s Edith Cowan becomes the first woman elected to an Australian Parliament.
1922
Country Women’s Association formed in New South Wales.
Qantas begins regular air services between Charleville and Cloncurry, Queensland.
1923
Afternoon paper The News launched in Adelaide.
Regular radio broadcasting in Australia begins in Sydney.
Vegemite*, a spread from brewer’s yeast developed by Cyril P Callister of Fred Walker Cheese Company, goes on sale. *Trade Mark Kraft Foods
1924
Voting made compulsory in Federal elections.
Radio stations 5DN and 5AB (later 5CL) begin broadcasting in South Australia.
1925
Australia’s population reaches six million.
1926
Adelaide engineer Alfred Traeger invents pedal wireless, opening up communication in the Outback.
1927
Duke of York officially opens Parliament House in Canberra.
1928
Aerial Medical Service, founded by Rev John Flynn, begins operating in Queensland; renamed Flying Doctor Service in 1942.
Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and crew complete first flight across the Pacific in Southern Cross.
1929
Adelaide waterside workers attack non-union labour at the docks.
Railway link between Adelaide and Alice Springs completed.
1930
Australia linked to Britain by telephone for the first time.
LHB Lasseter expedition in Central Australia to find gold reef.
Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup.
1931
Public demonstrations in all states protest against unemployment and poverty: ‘Beef riot’ in Adelaide.
General Motors-Holden’s Ltd is formed with merger of Holden’s Motor Body Builders and General Motors Australia.
Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, established as an Aboriginal reserve.
1932
Official opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Australian Broadcasting Commission established.
Unemployment in Australia reaches 30 per cent.
1933
‘ Bodyline’ bowling controversy in 1932–33 Test cricket series between England and Australia.
Western Australians vote to secede from Commonwealth.
First John Martin’s Christmas Pageant parades in Adelaide.
1934
Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, unveiled.
1935
Giant cane toad introduced into Queensland to control sugar cane pest, the grey-backed beetle.
1936
South Australian Housing Trust established, the first state housing authority in Australia.
Ansett Airlines founded.
Centenary of foundation of South Australia celebrated.
1937
Infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) epidemic in Australia.
1938
Thomas Playford becomes Premier of South Australia.
Australia agrees to accept 15,000 political refugees from Europe over next three years.
1939
Robert Menzies becomes Prime Minister of Australia.
Australia follows Britain and declares war on Germany.
Compulsory military training reintroduced in Australia.
1940
Australia declares war on Italy.
Petrol rationing introduced.
1941
Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force, Women's Royal Australian Naval Service and Australian Women's Army Service established.
National child endowment scheme introduced.
HMAS Sydney, with 645 crew, lost in action against German cruiser HSK Kormoranoff the Western Australian coast.
Australia declares war on Japan.
Single men aged 18–45, and married men aged 18–35 are called up.
1942
Japanese air raids on Darwin, Broome, Wyndham and Townsville.
Three Japanese midget submarines enter Sydney Harbour.
Rationing of tea, sugar and clothes introduced.
Australian Women’s Land Army formed.
Australian troops defeat Japanese forces at Kokoda Trail campaign.
Women aged 18–30 called up for war work.
1943
Hospital ship Centaur sunk off Cape Moreton, Queensland, by Japanese submarine; 268 lives lost.
Rationing of butter introduced.
First women elected to Australian Federal Parliament: Dame Enid Lyons (Tasmania) and Dorothy Tangney (Western Australia).
1944
Meat rationing begins.
Japanese prisoners of war attempt a mass escape from camp at Cowra, New South Wales.
Liberal Party of Australia established.
FH Faulding & Co becomes first commercial manufacturer of penicillin in Australia.
1945
Commonwealth unemployment and sickness benefits commence.
Adelaide’s Lance Hill designs the Hills Hoist—first rotary clothes hoist to achieve national sales success.
1946
Trans-Australia Airlines’ first flight from Sydney to Melbourne.
1947
Assisted immigration scheme reintroduced for British migrants to Australia, and agreement to accept displaced persons from Europe.
First Barossa Vintage Festival held.
Sugar rationing ends.
1948
Meat and clothing rationing ends.
Australian cricket captain Donald Bradman retires from Test cricket with a Test average of 99.94 after playing in 52 Test matches.
Launch of first ‘all Australian’ car, the Holden, at Fishermans Bend, Victoria.
1949
Australian citizenship defined under Nationality and Citizenship Act.
First missile launched from Woomera.
Federal franchise extended to Aboriginal people if they have the right to vote under state law, or have served in the defence services.
Arrival in Australia of 50,000th European displaced person and 100,000th British migrant since end of World War II.
Work begins on Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.
1950
Petrol, butter and tea rationing ends.
Australia sends RAAF squadron to Singapore for service in the Malayan Emergency.
Australia commits military units to the United Nations Force in Korea.
1951
School of the Air begins broadcasting for children in isolated areas from Flying Doctor base at Alice Springs.
1952
Victa® rotary lawn mower developed by Mervyn Victor Richardson in Sydney.
1953
British atomic testing begins at Emu Field, South Australia.
First around-Australia Redex Reliability Trial car marathon.
1954
Queen Elizabeth II visits Australia, the first reigning British monarch to do so.
Earthquake causes extensive damage to Adelaide region.
‘ Petrov’ affair: Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov defects to Australia.
South Australia’s first drive-in theatre, the Blueline at West Beach, opens.
1955
‘ Black Sunday’ bushfires; Marble Hill vice-regal residence in Adelaide Hills destroyed.
Adelaide Airport opens at West Beach.
Australia’s millionth post-war migrant arrives.
1956
Severe flooding along River Murray in South Australia.
Free mass immunisation campaign with Salk polio vaccine begins.
First television broadcasts in Sydney and Melbourne.
British atomic tests take place at Maralinga, South Australia.
Summer Olympic Games held in Melbourne.
1957
Joern Utzon wins competition to design Sydney Opera House.
Federal Council for Advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders founded.
1958
First nuclear reactor in Australia begins operation at Lucas Heights, New South Wales.
Electric trams no longer operating in Adelaide, except for Adelaide–Glenelg line.
1959
First women members elected to South Australian Parliament: Joyce Steele and Jessie Cooper.
Television begins transmission in South Australia from NWS 9.
1960
First Adelaide Festival of Arts held in March.
1961
The world’s second ‘big dish’ radio telescope opened at Parkes, New South Wales.
Oral contraceptive pill approved for distribution in Australia.
1962
Commonwealth Electoral Act extends right to enrol and vote to all indigenous Australians.
South Australian Roma Mitchell appointed as Australia’s first female Queen’s Counsel.
Millionth Holden car, an EJ Premier, produced at Dandenong, Victoria.
1963
South Australia’s population exceeds one million.
Australia’s population reaches 11 million.
1964
HMAS Voyager sinks after collision with HMAS Melbourne.
The Beatles tour Australia.
The Australian national daily newspaper launched.
Reintroduction of National Service with 20-year old conscripts chosen by birth date lottery.
1965
Charles Perkins leads ‘freedom ride’ bus tour in rural New South Wales in protest against racial discrimination.
Election of first Labor State Government since 1933 in South Australia, ending Premier Sir Thomas Playford’s record 27-year term in office.
Australia commits troops to war in Vietnam to support US forces.
South Australian Roma Mitchell appointed first female Supreme Court judge in Australia.
Model Jean Shrimpton’s mini-skirt scandalises Derby Day racegoers at Flemington, Victoria.
Thomas Angove develops portable wine cask.
1966
Sir Robert Menzies retires after a record 16 successive years as Prime Minister.
Decimal currency introduced in Australia.
South Australian firsts in Australian legislation: Prohibition of Discrimination Act prohibiting discrimination by race, colour, or country of origin; and Aboriginal Lands Trust Act, the first major recognition of Aboriginal land rights.
1967
Australian national referendum supports giving the Commonwealth power to legislate for Aboriginal people, and include them in the census.
Ten o’clock closing introduced in South Australian hotels.
Prime Minister Harold Holt disappears when swimming at beach at Portsea, Victoria.
1968
Fire destroys News Ltd’s Newspaper House on North Terrace, Adelaide.
1969
Commonwealth Arbitration Commission accepts principle of equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender.
Protests held against Australia’s involvement in Vietnam War.
South Australia is first state to legalise abortion in certain circumstances.
Women ’s liberation groups formed in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
1970
Thousands of Australians march in Moratorium Day demonstrations against Australian participation in the Vietnam War.
Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge collapses during construction, killing 35 workers.
Pope Paul VI is the first Pope to visit Australia.
1971
Queensland Senator Neville Bonner becomes first Aboriginal to enter Federal Parliament.
Anti-apartheid demonstrations when South African Springbok rugby team tours Australia.
1972
Aboriginal ‘tent embassy’ set up in Canberra in demonstration for land rights.
South Australian Film Corporation established; award-winning feature films produced in South Australia include Storm Boy; Gallipoli; Bad Boy Bubby; The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; and Shine.
Women's Electoral Lobby established in Melbourne.
Pastor Douglas Nicholls becomes first Aboriginal to be knighted.
Australian Labor Party, led by Gough Whitlam, wins Federal election for first time in 23 years.
Last Australian troops leave Vietnam.
1973
Voting age in Federal elections reduced from 21 to 18.
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam opens Adelaide’s Festival Theatre.
Sydney Opera House opens.
1974
SANFL Football Park opens at West Lakes; first match: Central District versus North Adelaide.
Bankcard credit card introduced for domestic use.
Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin on Christmas Day, destroying nine out of ten homes.
1975
Transmission of colour television begins in Australia.
South Australia becomes the first Australian state to make sex discrimination unlawful, and to decriminalise homosexual relations between consenting adults in private.
Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act proclaimed.
Australian constitutional crisis: Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismisses Whitlam government and appoints Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister.
1976
First Vietnamese ‘boat people’ arrive in Darwin seeking refuge.
Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls appointed Governor of South Australia, the first Aboriginal Governor of any Australian state.
Cigarette and tobacco advertising banned on television and radio.
Opening of Rundle Mall, Adelaide.
1977
Late-night shopping begins in Adelaide city and suburbs.
Granville train disaster in New South Wales; 83 killed when train derails and crashes into concrete bridge.
Australian Democrats formed by Don Chipp.
1978
South Australian Police Commissioner Harold Salisbury dismissed for misleading government over Special Branch files.
Gay rights protest held in Sydney—first Gay Mardi Gras.
Legislation introduced by government of Premier Don Dunstan to recognise traditional rights of Pitjantjatjara people to their lands.
1979
Space station Skylab crashes near Esperance, Western Australia.
1980
First ‘Ash Wednesday’ bushfires in Mount Lofty Ranges.
Australia’s first test-tube baby, Candice Reed, born in Melbourne.
Baby Azaria Chamberlain missing at Ayers Rock, reported to have been taken by a dingo.
1981
Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act
passed by South Australian government recognises traditional rights of Pitjantjatjara people to their lands.
1982
Conservationists protest to save the Franklin River in Tasmania’s south-west wilderness area from being flooded by proposed dam for hydro-electric power.
1983
Major ‘Ash Wednesday’ bushfires in South Australia and Victoria cause loss of 75 lives and destroy more than 2500 buildings.
1984
Advance Australia Fair proclaimed as national anthem, replacing God save the Queen.
South Australia’s Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act returns land used for atomic weapons testing to traditional owners.
Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia begins hearings.
1985
Adelaide Casino opens.
Commonwealth transfers freehold title for Ayers Rock and Uluru National Park to Mutijulu Aboriginal community.
First Australian Formula One Grand Prix held in Adelaide.
1986
The Australia Act makes Australian law fully independent from the British Parliament and legal system.
Senator Janine Haines becomes the first female leader of a political party in the Federal Parliament.
1987
Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody begins.
Record fall of share prices on Australian Stock Exchange.
1988
Australian Bicentennial celebrations of European settlement—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders march in Sydney as a statement of protest and survival.
New Parliament House opens in Canberra.
1989
Australia’s worst earthquake strikes Newcastle, New South Wales.
1990
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is formed; Lowitja O'Donoghue appointed as the inaugural Chairperson.
1991
Dame Roma Mitchell becomes Governor of South Australia, the first woman appointed as a Governor in Australia.
State Bank of South Australia faces financial collapse.
Adelaide Entertainment Centre opens.
Federal Labor government introduces mandatory detention at Port Hedland for all arrivals by boat without authorisation.
1992
First Big Day Out held at Sydney Showgrounds.
First Womadelaide world music festival staged.
Australia’s last remaining metropolitan afternoon newspaper, Adelaide’s The News, closes.
High Court’s Mabo judgement recognises native title rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and overturns legal notion of ‘terra nullius’.
Unemployment in Australia reaches over 11 per cent, the highest rate since the Great Depression.
1993
Native title legislation passed by Federal Government.
Poker machines introduced at Adelaide Casino, and in hotels and clubs during the following year.
1994
Australia’s east-coast bushfire crisis.
Letter bomb explodes at National Crime Authority’s offices in Adelaide.
1995
Beatification of Mary MacKillop.
Hindmarsh Island Bridge Royal Commission held.
National Inquiry into Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families established.
Final Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Adelaide, after which event moves to Melbourne.
South Australian Natasha Stott Despoja, aged 26, becomes youngest woman to enter Federal Parliament.
1996
Port Arthur, Tasmania, massacre.
First National Reconciliation Week.
High Court’s Wik decision recognises that native title and pastoral leases can coexist.
1997
Formation of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation political party.
Australian Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne; Prime Minister John Howard refuses formal apology to indigenous Australians for past injustices.
Thredbo landslide in Snowy Mountains.
1998
Constitutional Convention recommends that Australia becomes a republic.
South Australian born astronaut Andy Thomas spends 141 days in space, with 130 days at Mir space station.
1999
Australian troops lead multi-national United Nations peacekeeping force in East Timor.
Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre established by Federal Liberal government in response to increase in unauthorised boat arrivals.
Constitutional referendum proposal to establish Australia as a republic defeated.
Australia’s population reaches 19 million.
2000
South Australian scientists clone sheep ‘Matilda’.
People’s Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Summer Olympic Games held in Sydney.
2001
Australian Centenary of Federation.
Andy Thomas becomes first Australian to walk in space.
Riots, hunger strikes and escapes from immigration detention centres.
Federal Government refuses to allow asylum seekers rescued by MV Tampa to land and seek asylum in Australia.
20-year-old South Australian Lleyton Hewitt becomes the youngest player ever to achieve world number one tennis ranking.
2002
88 Australians killed in Bali bombing at Kuta.
2003
Devastating bushfires in Canberra district.
Prime Minister John Howard announces Australia will join US in war against Iraq.
Redeveloped State Library of South Australia opens.

   

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