Explore Melbourne Polytechnic

During this Decade – 1980s


1979: USSR invades Afghanistan.

1980: John Lennon murdered in New York City; Evonne Cawley (Goolagong) wins the Wimbledon Ladies Singles title for the second time; Azaria Chamberlain goes missing at Ayers Rock (Ulluru).

1981: Ronald Reagan elected as President of the United States; first AIDS cases reported in the US; Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles; Space Shuttle Columbia makes its first flight.

1982: South Melbourne becomes the Sydney Swans; CD players become commercially available.

1983: Australia II becomes the first Australian entry to win the America’s Cup; Hawke government elected to power in Australia; Ash Wednesday fires claim 72 lives in Victoria.

1984: Medicare launched, Tim MacCartney Snape and Greg Mortimer become the first Australian’s to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

1985: Uluru (Ayers Rock) is returned to its traditional owners – the Mutijulu Community; Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union heralding a new policy of ‘Perestroika’ (Reconstruction).

1985: Live Aid concert raises funds and awareness for Ethiopian famine victims.

1986: Melbourne’s Russell Street Police Headquarters bombed; Chernobyl nuclear reactor explodes in the Ukraine.

1987: Pat Cash wins the Wimbledon Mens Singles title; ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson becomes the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

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Last Modified: 14th June 2013

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