1971 in Australia

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The following lists events that happened during 1971 in Australia.

1971 in Australia
Monarchy Elizabeth II
Governor-General Paul Hasluck
Prime minister John Gorton, William McMahon
Population 12,507,349
Elections NSW, WA

Flag of Australia.svg

See also:


State premiers

State governors



  • 3 January -
    • Sudden hailstorms lash the Sydney area causing widespread damage to houses and properties, as well as traffic chaos and nearly $150,000 worth of damage to fruit and vegetable crops at Cobbity.
    • New South Wales Transport Minister announces that intensified police weekend patrols might become a regular part of the campaign to cut the road toll after 8,148 New South Wales motorists were arrested or charged over the New Year holiday weekend.
  • 4 January -
    • Federal Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam says in Port Moresby that Papuan leaders seem to accept completely the Australian Labor Party's timetable for independence of Papua New Guinea. The timetable provides for self-government as soon as a Labor Government comes to power in Australia, and independence in 1976.
    • Immigration Minister Phillip Lynch gives a ruling that three Asian doctors at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, who entered Australia under the private overseas student program, will be sent home, but may apply to return to Australia as migrants conditionally.


  • 2 November -
    • President Richard Nixon gives Prime Minister William McMahon an unqualified endorsement of the Anzus alliance, saying that the United States would honour its commitments under the alliance, which he described as one of America's fundamental pillars in the Pacific.
    • Sonia McMahon, wife of Prime Minister William McMahon, captures international attention when she wears a daring full-length dress, with a long slit down the sides revealing her legs, to a White House reception. The dress was designed by South Yarra fashion designer Victoria Ciscijo of Valencia House. Sonia McMahon would be most remembered in years to come for this dress.[1]
  • 24 DecemberCyclone Althea hits Townsville and surrounding islands, killing 3
  • State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen declares a state of emergency in Queensland in response to escalating protest to the 1971 Springbok tour
  • Australia and New Zealand Announce Pull Out Of Troops from Vietnam

Arts and literature



  • 4 January – American children's educational TV series Sesame Street premieres on ABC.
  • 28 July – Pick-A-Box, hosted by Bob and Dolly Dyer, airs for the final time. It had first been broadcast as a radio program in 1948.





  1. ^ "Sonia stuns White House". Sydney Morning Herald. 4 November 1971. 
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