O U N D A T I O N   E X P O  ' 8 8
Progressing the World Expo '88 Vision
- A non-government not-for-profit entity celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 -

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A Brief Guide to Australia in the 1980s

1980s Australia was resplendent with festival, colour and celebration - and also controversy - and very much feeling the centre of world attention.

From the 1980 disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain at Uluru - Ayer's Rock, capturing world-wide media attention, to the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - CHOGM - in Melbourne in 1981; the new found national pride felt at XIIth Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982; to the successful win of the Australian Labour Party of the 1983 Federal Elections, after the dismissal of Labour in 1975, bringing the Honourable R.J.L. Hawke MP to power; the spectacular win by Australia II of the America's Cup soon after; the 1984 participation at the L.A. Games; Australia taking part in the 1.5 billion viewer 'Live Aid' concerts in 1985, and paying the last remaining fund-raising raffle tickets for construction of the Sydney Opera House (opened in 1973); movies 'Crocodile Dundee' and others bringing world fame to Australia, and also to former Sydney Harbour Bridge worker Paul Hogan, depicting on the celluloid screen a new image Australia in '86; to Australia winning Wimbledon, and a swag of other international sporting medals in '87; everything seemed to lead to a most spectacular entrance for the nation in the lead up to the 1988 Bicentennial of European settlement celebrations, of which World Expo '88 was the largest event, attracting millions of visitors, numerous heads of state, dignitaries as well as and celebrities and stars from all over the world. (As well as some humble pie eaten in 1989 by some of our leading business houses after the Bicentenary).

Here you will find some of the memorable and tangible headlines and statistics of this most epochal time for the Australian nation - representing a very real potpourri of 1980s Australian popular culture. 

[click on each numeral year to progress]