Australia in the 1980s

Dick Smith's adventures

Dick Smith is an entrepreneur and businessman with a lifelong interest in science, exploration and technology. On the 22 July 1983, he completed the first solo flight around the world in a helicopter, just under a year after setting out. As the Soviet Union refused him permission to land in their territory, he had to arrange a ship landing and refuelling.

In 1986, he launched Australian Geographic as a quarterly geographic journal that would focus attention on Australia. In the same year, he was declared Australian of the Year.

In 1987, Dick Smith became the first person to reach the North Pole by a solo helicopter flight.

A snapshot of 1988

  • January
    • The first Aboriginal television station, Imparja, began transmission in Alice Springs.
    • Australia's Bicentennial celebrations began and the First Fleet re-enactment vessels arrived at Botany Bay.
    • The new Parliament House on Capital Hill in Canberra was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

  • June
    • Kay Cottee became the first woman to sail single-handedly and non-stop around the world.
    • The $2 coin went into circulation replacing the old $2 note.


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