1981 in Australia

1981 in Australia

Infobox Australian year
monarch = Elizabeth II
governor-general = Zelman Cowen
pm =Malcolm Fraser
population = 14,923,260
australian =
elections =NSW
"See also:"
1980 in Australia,
other events of 1981,
1982 in Australia


*Queen of Australia - HM Queen Elizabeth II
*Governor General - Sir Zelman Cowen
*Prime Minister - Malcolm Fraser
*Premier of New South Wales - Neville Wran
*Premier of South Australia - David Tonkin
*Premier of Queensland - Joh Bjelke-Petersen
*Premier of Tasmania - Doug Lowe, then Harry Holgate
*Premier of Western Australia - Sir Charles Court
*Premier of Victoria - Rupert Hamer, then Lindsay Thompson
*Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory - Post did not exist in 1981.
*Chief Minister of the Northern Territory - Paul Everingham


*February 10 - Townsville International Airport opens in Townsville
*February 14 - Australia withdraws recognition of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
*April 15 - Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock resigns from cabinet accusing the Prime Minister of gross disloyalty.
*April 29 - A fire at the Pacific Nursing Home kills 16 in Sylvania Heights, a Suburb of Sydney.
*June 5 - Rubert Hamer resigns as Premier of Victoria after losing the support of his party.
*August 25 - The Rembrant Hotel fire kills 19 people in Kings Cross, Sydney.
*September 19 - The ALP government of Neville Wran is re-elected in New South Wales, increasing his majority from his "Wranslide" win in 1978.
*November 11 - Harry Holgate becomes Premier of Tasmania after the resignation of Doug Lowe.
*December 12 - A referendum is held in Tasmania to vote for whether or not the Franklin Dam should be built. 47% vote for the original proposal, 8% vote for the compromise solution & 45% vote informally. It is estimated that up to one-third of all votes were for 'no dams', which was not a sanctioned option.

Unknown Dates

*Public funding of election campaigns introduced in New South Wales.
*Victoria Decriminalizes Homosexual acts Between Consenting Adults

Arts & Literature

* Peter Carey's novel "Bliss" wins the Miles Franklin Award


Puberty Blues (R) came out in 1981. It was seen as an outrage because of its nudity and behaviours Fact|date=May 2007.


*March 2 - "Good Morning Australia" premieres on Network Ten, marking the return of breakfast television to Australian television screens.
*April 10 - The TV Week Logie Awards air on Ten for the first time. It is also the first time that the logies have not been screened on the Nine Network.
*July 27 - "Wheel of Fortune" premieres on the Seven Network.
*September 16 - The Nine Network celebrates 25 years of television in Australia.
*November - "A Country Practice" debuts on Channel 7.


*February 1 - Trevor Chappell bowls underarm in the final delivery of the game against New Zealand at the MCG. The delivery leads to the banning of underarm deliveries in cricket.
*March 28 – Australia is represented by fifteen long-distance runners (nine men, six women) at the ninth IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Madrid, Spain. Robert de Castella is Australia's best finisher, claiming the sixth spot (35:20.0) in the race over 12 kilometres.
*March - The Canberra Raiders are accepted as the 14th team in the NSWRL for 1982.
*The Sin Bin rule is introduced in rugby league. Newtown hooker Barry Jensen becomes the first player sent there.
*July 25 - Garry Bentley wins the men's national marathon title, clocking 2:16:58 in Werribee, while Rosemary Longstaff claims the inaugural women's title in 2:46:48.
*July 29 - The VFL board announces that South Melbourne will play 11 games in Sydney in 1982.
*August 29 - South Melbourne play their last game at the Lake Oval in Albert Park against North Melbourne. North Melbourne win, 15.17.107 to 10.14.74.
*September 26 - The Carlton Blues (12.20 (92)) defeat the Collingwood Magpies (10.12 (72)) to win the 85th VFL/AFL premiership. It is the last time Collingwood would feature in a grand final until 1990.
*September 27 - In the first grand final played on a Sunday the Parramatta Eels defeat the Newtown Jets 20-11† to win the 74th NSWRL premiership. It is also the first premiership for the Parramatta Eels, who had been trying to win one since 1947. Fans celebrate by burning down the main grandstand of the Cumberland Oval, which was due to be demolished.
*October 3 - Port Adelaide (14.11 (95)) defeat Glenelg (6.8 (44)) at Football Park to win their 27th SANFL premiership. Russell Ebert is awarded the inaugural Jack Oatey medal for best player during the grand final.
*November 3 - Just A Dash wins the Melbourne Cup. †=Scored under outdated scoring system.


*February 24 – Lleyton Hewitt, tennis player
*February 26 – Daniel Geale, welterweight boxer
*May 11 – Lauren Jackson, basketball player
*July 26 – Abe Forsythe, actor
*August 8 – Vanessa Amorosi, singer-songwriter
*October 26 – Guy Sebastian, singer-songwriter
*December 21 – Justin Kane, bantamweight boxer
*December 27 – Emilie de Ravin, actress


* June 16 - Sir Thomas Playford (b. 1896), former Premier of South Australia
* June 29 - Russell Drysdale (b. 1912), painter
* October 19 - Dymphna Cusack (b. 1902), writer
* September 2 - Dame Enid Lyons (b. 1897), politician
* September 9 - Sir Robert Askin (b. 1907), former Premier of New South Wales
* December 23 - Sir Reginald Ansett (b. 1909), businessman

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