Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Australia in the 2000s

Science awards

At the end of October 2009, two CSIRO scientists, Dr Amanda Barnard and Dr John O'Sullivan, shared the Prime Minister's Prize for Science. Amanda Barnard's award was for major contributions in the field of nanoscience. Her research focused on how nanoparticles interact with the environment and how environmental changes may affect their stability. Nanoparticles are particles that are millionths of a metre in size, and are the building blocks of the newly developing field of nanotechnology.

John O'Sullivan was recognised for his work in leading a CSIRO team that solved a multipath problem in informational networks. The solution of this problem has been crucial to the development of fast wireless networks for internet users. There are now an estimated 1 billion wireless devices around the world that utilise the technology made possible by O'Sullivan's work.

CSIRO's corporate headquarters in Campbell, ACT

A snapshot of 2008

  • January
    • The United Nations General Assembly chose 2008 to be the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth.

  • February
    • An official apology by the new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to the Stolen Generations was made the first order of business of the new federal parliament.

  • June
    • Australia ended its combat operations in Iraq, withdrawing approximately 550 troops from the region.

  • July
    • World Youth Day (WYD), the largest youth event in the world, attracted 223,000 pilgrims to the event held in Sydney.

  • September
    • The Global Financial Crisis began having a serious effect on the Australian economy.
    • Quentin Bryce was sworn in as the first female governor-general of Australia.


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