1939 in Australia

1939 in Australia

Infobox Australian year
monarch = George VI
governor-general = Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie
pm =Joseph Lyons, Earle Page, Robert Menzies
population =6,967,754
australian =
elections =WA
"See also:"
1938 in Australia,
other events of 1939,
1940 in Australia and the
Timeline of Australian history.


*Monarch – King George VI
*Governor-GeneralAlexander Hore-Ruvthen, 1st Baron Gowrie
*Prime MinisterJoseph Lyons (until April 7), then Sir Earle Page (until April 26), then Robert Menzies

tate Premiers

*Premier of New South WalesBertram Stevens (until August 5) then Alexander Mair
*Premier of QueenslandWilliam Forgan Smith
*Premier of South AustraliaThomas Playford IV
*Premier of TasmaniaAlbert Ogilvie (until June 10), then Edmund Dwyer-Gray (until December 18), then Robert Cosgrove
*Premier of VictoriaAlbert Dunstan
*Premier of Western AustraliaJohn Willcock

tate Governors

*Governor of New South WalesJohn Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst
*Governor of QueenslandSir Leslie Orme Wilson
*Governor of South AustraliaSir Winston Dugan (until February 23), then Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey (from August 12)
*Governor of TasmaniaSir Ernest Clark
*Governor of VictoriaWilliam Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield (until April 4), then Sir Winston Dugan (from July 17)
*Governor of Western Australia – "none appointed"


*January 13 – The bushfires of Black Friday kill 70 people in Victoria.
*March 27 – The first CAC Wirraway training aircraft, A20-3, takes to the air at Fishermans Bend, Victoria.
*April 7Prime Minister Joseph Lyons dies of a sudden heart attack, the first Prime Minister to die in office. Sir Earle Page, the leader of the Country Party is appointed caretaker Prime Minister until the United Australia Party can elect a new leader.
*April 26Robert Menzies is elected leader of the United Australia Party, and is sworn in as Prime Minister.
*June 10Premier of Tasmania Albert Ogilvie dies in office. Edmund Dwyer-Gray acts as Premier until he is officially elected as leader of the Labor Party in Tasmania on July 6.
*September 3World War II begins. Australia declares war on Germany, following the United Kingdom and British Dominions' declaration of same, after the German invasion of Poland.
*September 15Robert Menzies announces a new War Cabinet.
*December 1 – Australia agrees to take 15,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Europe, following the German occupation of Austria and Czechoslovakia.
*December 18Edmund Dwyer-Gray steps aside as Premier of Tasmania, by prior arrangement with Robert Cosgrove to assume the premiership.

Arts and literature

* Max Meldrum wins the Archibald Prize with his portrait of "The Hon G J Bell, Speaker of the House of Representatives"


* "Rivette" wins the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup
* "Mosaic" wins the Cox Plate
* South Australia wins the Sheffield Shield


* January 6Murray Rose, swimmer
* January 29Germaine Greer, academic and feminist
* February 13Andrew Peacock, politician
* March 5Tony Rundle, Premier of Tasmania (1996–1998)
* April 4Alex George, botanist
* April 7Brett Whiteley (d. 1992), artist
* April 12 - Johnny Raper, Australian rugby league footballer
* April 20Elspeth Ballantyne, actress
* May 12 - Reg Gasnier, Australian rugby league footballer
* July 12Phillip Adams, broadcaster and writer
* July 26John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia (1996–2007)
* September 5George Lazenby, actor (James Bond)
* October 8 – Paul Hogan, comedian and actor
* October 9John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker
* October 10Clive James, writer and social commentator
* November 25Ian Smith, politician
* December 26Fred Schepisi, film director


* February 14James Webb, NSW politician
* March 9Edwin Greenslade Murphy (b. 1866), journalist and poet
* April 7Joseph Lyons (b. 1879), Prime Minister of Australia (1932–1939) and Premier of Tasmania (1923–1928)
* April 25Sir Charles Powers (b. 1853), High Court judge
* June 10Albert Ogilvie (b. 1890), Premier of Tasmania (1934–1939)
* August 6James MacCallum Smith (b. 1868), WA politician
* August 30Edward Sydney Simpson (b. 1875), minerologist and geochemist
* October 3Henry Augustus Ellis (b. 1861), physician and federalist
* October 22Sir John Langdon Bonython (b. 1848), politician and journalist
* November 15William Hill (b. 1866), politician
* December 6Sir Ernest Scott (b. 1867), historian

ee also


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