1968 Australia’s first restaurant guide

Graham Kerr published Australia's first restaurant guide“Galloping Gourmet” and television chef Graham Kerr published Graham Kerr’s Guide to Good Eating in Sydney – Australia’s first restaurant guide. This was followed, in the same year, by Graham Kerr’s Guide to Good Eating in Melbourne. More

1969 Beginnings of nouvelle cuisine

Nouvelle Cuisine cook bookSaid to have been born on the first Concorde flight out of Paris, this new and lighter approach to French cooking is largely attributed to famous French chef Paul Bocuse. Nouvelle cuisine rejected rich sauces and put great emphasis on the appearance of the food on the plate. Australians embraced this style during the late ‘70s but it is remembered by many for an overuse of kiwi fruit and tamarillo.

1969 First Australian Kmart store

First Kmart store Image: Museum of VictoriaKmart was originally a joint venture between Coles and the S.S. Kresge Company, which operated Kmart in the USA . It combined a supermarket with a discount department store. When the first Kmart store opened in Burwood, east of Melbourne, an estimated 40,000 people passed through the checkouts on the first day. More

1969 First microwave oven imported

Early microwave oven -Radarange, 1967The first commercial microwave oven, Raytheon’s Radarange,  was invented in the USA in the late 1940s. Domestic models began to sell in Japan in 1966 and in the US in 1967. The first imports to Australia were used mainly in take-away food outlets, but by 1980 around 150,000 households had a microwave, with penetration reaching 50 per cent by 1989 and around 77 per cent by December 1995. More

1969 Queen Victoria market becomes retail only

Queen Victoria Market's whole sale operation moved to FootscrayIn 1969, the wholesale operations of the Queen Victoria market moved to new premises at Footscray. In part, this was an attempt to distance the criminal activities that had been associated with the fruit and vegetable trade from the general public. A history trail at the Queen Vic market documents some of this dubious history.

1969 Self-service dominates grocery sales

Four Square self-serviceBy this time, 70% of Victorian metropolitan grocery sales were self-service. Smaller stores formed buying groups to remain competitive. Confectionery and milk, previously available through milk bars and mixed businesses, now began to appear in supermarkets and fresh food became a new focus.


1969 Final Tarax Show.

Princess Panda on the Tarax Show

Princess Panda

Soft drink company Tarax was one of the first brands to use television, sponsoring a children’s program, Tarax Happy Show, that first went to air in January 1957. At first called The Happy Show  after its host, Happy Hammond, it subsequently became The Tarax Happy Show. After Happy Hammond left the show it was renamed The Tarax Show,  and was hosted by Geoff Corke (Corky King of the Kids) and later Norman Swain (Uncle Norman) with Panda Lisner (Princess Panda).

1968 Subway emerges in Connecticut

Early Subway storeA recent high school graduate, 17 year old Fred DeLuca, and family friend Dr. Peter Buck teamed up to open their  first sandwich shop, called ‘Pete’s Super Submarines’ in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1965.  They expanded the operation,   opening more stores and changing the name to Subway in 1968. Sandwiches were made in front of customers and claimed to be a healthier alternative to other fast food options. More

1968 First Margaret Fulton cookbook

Margaret Fulton cookbookCookery writer Margaret Fulton‘s first cookbook, published by Paul Hamlyn in 1968, sold over a million copies.  It was reprinted in 1969 and further editions were published in 1976, 1980, 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2006. The classic 1968 edition was reissued in 2010 revised, updated and with new photography. Margaret Fulton has published many other cookbooks, earning her a place in almost every Australian kitchen.

1968 Tasmania’s first licensed restaurant

wine-glassUntil the 1960s, if you wanted to wine and dine in Tasmania your options were restricted. There were fancy meals in first-class hotels such as the Wrest Point Riviera in the south or the Launceston Hotel in the north, or basic counter meals in pubs. Pressure from the industry brought about changes to licensing laws. The first fully licensed restaurant was the Martini in Burnie. More

1968 Courage Beer launched

Courage beerCourage Beer attempted to break the stranglehold Carlton & United had on the beer market in Victoria with its launch on Thursday 10 October, 1968. Despite introducing a range of brands and an eventual take-over by Tooths in 1978, Courage was unsuccessful. This was in large part because of the system of ‘tied pubs’ which meant CUB controlled much of the distribution chain. More

1968 Kentucky Fried Chicken in Australia

Kentucky Fried ChickenThe first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opened in Guildford in Sydney’s western suburbs on 27th April 1968, with a staff of 25. It was opened by a Canadian named Bob Lapointe  and started the fast food revolution in Australia. The line at launch was “finger-lickin’ good”.


1970 Wynn’s perfect the wine cask

Improved wine caskWynn’s perfected the wine cask (bag-in-a-box) in 1970, with a tap that was exposed by tearing away a panel on the front of the box. The new design offered extra convenience for drinkers and “chateau cardboard” helped to make wine an everyday drink.  Orlando’s Coolabah  wine cask, launched in 1973,  became famous with the advertising campaign “Where do you hide your Coolabah?” More

1967 Taco Bill founded

Taco Bill logoMexican food was a new experience for most Australians when the founder of Taco Bill, Bill Chilcote, arrived in Australia from the California/Mexico border in 1967. His first Taco Bill outlet was located on the Gold Coast and offered take-away food.  The chain is now a franchise operation with 33 stores in Victoria.


1967 Sydney’s first Lebanese restaurant

Sydney's first Lebanese restaurant - Lebanese flagThe first Lebanese restaurant in Sydney was founded by the Mrough brothers in 1967 in Pitt Street, Redfern. Oddly, it was named Wilson’s. Wilson was the first name of one of the brothers, who had been named after US President Woodrow Wilson.

The restaurant is still operating, and the current manager is a relative of the Mrough family, who later opened restaurants in Cleveland Street and Randwick . More

1966 GLAD® Wrap introduced

Glad WrapIn 1966 the GLAD® brand was born in Australia with the launch of  ‘the amazing new plastic GLAD® Wrap, a totally new concept for storing food’. The plastic wrap market in Australia is now valued at $51 million with nine out of ten Australian households purchasing some kind of plastic wrap and the GLAD® brand is a market leader with 53% value share.


1966 Margaret River wine region identified

Margaret River wine region logoA 1966 research paper by agronomist Dr John Gladstones suggested that the Margaret River area in Western Australia would suit viticulture and had similarities to the French wine producing area of Bordeaux. His findings, and those of American expert Professor Harold Olmo, encouraged Perth cardiologist, Tom Cullity, to plant vines at his property Vasse Felix in 1967. More

1966 Russian poet orders Aussie champagne in Paris

Yesvtushenko preferred Great WesternDuring a visit to the Adelaide Festival in 1966, the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko evidently acquired a taste for Seppelts Great Western ‘Champagne’. On his way back to Moscow via Paris, he startled the wine waiter at Maxims by requesting Great Western in preference to the many French offerings on their list. Two bottles were procured by sending a runner to the Australian Embassy. More

1966 Australia’s first food magazines

Epicurean - one of Australia's first food magazines

Cover by Les Mason

In 1966, both Epicurean and Australian Gourmet  food magazines were  founded. Epicurean was the first Australian magazine devoted entirely to food and wine. It was the official magazine of the Wine and Food Society of Australia and its contributors included Len Evans, Dan Murphy, Mietta O’Donnell, Tony Bilson and Terry Durack. The art direction by Les Mason was dramatic. Australian Gourmet, now Gourmet Traveller, counted Margaret Fulton among its early contributors.


1965 Red Tulip after-dinner mints

Red Tulip didn’t invent the after-dinner mint. Rowntree’s After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins were launched in England in 1962, but the Aussie chocolatiers at Red Tulip wasted no time in copying the idea. For a couple of decades afterwards, no dinner party was complete without an elegant choc-coated peppermint square, in its individual envelope, to accompany coffee.


1965 Cask wine invented

Cask wine by AngoveThe wine cask or ‘bag in a box’ was invented by Tom Angove of Angove’s in Renmark, South Australia. The plastic bag inside the cardboard carton held 1 gallon, or 4.5 litres. It was fiddly and potentially messy, as you needed to cut the corner off the bag, pour out the wine, then re-seal the bag with a peg. In 1971, Wynns introduced the cask with a built-in tap and cask wine took off. More

1965 First kebabs in Sydney

Uncle Tony's KebabsAccording to the company history of Uncle Tony’s Kebabs, the first kebabs were introduced in Sydney by Lebanese immigrant Tony Khater in 1965. His recipe was passed on to his nephew, Bill Mansour who, with his wife Rita, opened their Queensland business in 1983. Meanwhile, in 1979, Ali Baba had opened their first restaurant in Canberra. Ali Baba acquired Uncle Tony’s Kebabs in 2007. More

1965 Introduction of the BYO licence

BYO licenceThe BYO boom in Victoria started slowly, but gathered momentum year on year, really hitting its stride in the early ‘70s. Being able to take your own liquor to restaurants suddenly made dining out a lot more affordable. And while the BYO licence arguably also meant that a lot of people opened restaurants who shouldn’t have, there’s no arguing with Stephen Downes’ assertion (in Advanced Australia Fare) that it led to the development of a “middle rank of restaurants of amazing diversity, quality and value for money”. More

1964 The Big Banana

Big BananaClaiming to be the first and most famous of Australia’s “Big Things” (although it was actually pipped by the Big Scotsman in Adelaide) the Big Banana was commissioned by John Landi to attract people to his roadside banana stall at Coffs Harbour, NSW. Over the years, the attraction has had mixed fortunes, but is now the centrepiece of an amusement park.


1963 Tim Tams launched

Plate of Tim TamsIn 1963, Arnott’s launched Tim Tams , a new chocolate-covered biscuit based on a British product called Penguin. They were named after a horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1958, by Ross Arnott, who had attended the race and fancied the name. Tim Tams proved a winner for Arnott’s, becoming its best-selling product. By the end of the century sales reached more than 30 million packs a year. More

1963 First NSW retail grocery group

Supa Valu - first retail grocery group

The Davids wholesale operation put together the first professionally organised voluntary retail grocery group in NSW. It involved Supa Valu and Foodland, and introduced the first retail services program for independent retailers.

1963 Safeway arrives in Victoria

Safeway logoThe American supermarket company purchased three Pratt’s supermarkets in Victoria and launched the Safeway brand. The first was on the site of a successful Pratt’s Supermarket (with rooftop parking) in Frankston, Victoria. In 1985, by which time the chain had grown to 126 supermarkets, Safeway was acquired by Woolworths.

1962 New Year’s Eve at the Rex Hotel, Bondi

Rex Hotel New Year's Eve Menu 1962The special New Years’s Eve menu at the Rex Hotel was typical for its time. It offered Oysters Naturelle or Fruit Cocktail followed by Sole Bonne Femme, half a Spring Roast Chicken with vegetables in season, Tropical Fruit Salad and Ice Cream, Assorted Cheese and Coffee. I have since donated the souvenir menu to the National Library of Australia for its ephemera collection. More

1962 Christmas menu at Hotel Astra, Bondi

Christmas menu at the Astra Hotel, Bondi, 1962The multi-course Christmas menu at the Hotel Astra, Bondi, offered such choices as Oysters Natural au Citron, Consomme Royale, Fillet of Sole Bonne Femme and Roast Muscovy Duckling à l’Orange. Accompanied by Chablis, Hock, Burgundy or Claret. It was an era when restaurants and hotel dining rooms with pretensions clearly thought a French menu added a touch of class. More

1962 Southern Cross Hotel opens in Melbourne

Southern Cross Hotel MelbourneThe Southern Cross Hotel was the first luxury hotel in Melbourne to depart from the traditional style of hotels like the Hotel Windsor. Part of the American Intercontinental hotel chain (owned by airline Pan-Am), it had vivid interior tiling decor, 17-second room service response time, shop, an American-style Grill Room and Melbourne’s first tenpin bowling alley. It hosted  the Beatles in 1964, but closed in 1995 and was demolished in 2003. More

1962 First Burger King in Adelaide

AdeBurger King storelaide’s Burger King chain had nothing to do with the similarly-named chain in the United States. However, its founder, Don Dervan was American and was most likely aware of the US operation that was founded in 1953. Dervan opened his first Burger King drive-in hamburger restaurant in Adelaide in 1962, with waitresses on rollerskates serving customers in their cars. He eventually expanded his operation to 17 restaurants, mainly in South Australia.  More

1962 Hawaiian Pizza created in Canada

The Hawaiian pizza is topped with pineapple and hamHistory does not record when the first Hawaiian Pizza arrived in Australia. But the man credited with its invention was a Greek Canadian, Sam Panopoulos who introduced the dish, with its pineapple and ham topping, in 1962 at his Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. The dish was copied worldwide (although perhaps not in Italy). More

1962 (?) Streets Splice launched

Pine-Lime SpliceActually, the Streets people themselves don’t know when this iconic Aussie ice cream was launched. They say it was “sometime in the 1950s”. But the trade mark was registered in August 1961, so 1962 (which is the date Wikipedia gives) seems likely. The original version was Lime Splice, with Raspberry Splice following in 1963. More

1962 Ring pull can introduced in USA

Tab from ring pull canThe ring pull can was invented by Ermal Cleon “Ernie” Fraze of Dayton, Ohio, in 1959.  It was first put to the test by Iron City Brewing in Pittsburg in 1962 and soon became widely used for beer and soft drinks. The first brewery in Australia to use the ring pull can was the Swan Brewery in Perth. The original ring pull detached from the can and became a significant litter problem.  More

1962 Coles New World Supermarket is launched

Coles New World SupermarketColes launched “A new world of shopping”  with the opening of the first Coles New World   Supermarket in Frankston, Victoria. This was a new concept in food retailing in Australia, with groceries, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy goods, produce and frozen foods all within one store. >Coles Myer Facts


1961 The first Tupperware party in Australia

Tupperware partyEarl Silas Tupper introduced the range of plastic containers in the USA in 1946. Their trademark was the distinctive “burping” seal. In the early 1950s the Tupperware  party became the unique marketing method. The first Australian Tupperware party was held by Mary Paton in her mother’s home in Camberwell, Melbourne. Mary’s sister Ruth became the first Australian Demonstrator. More

1961 Unilever acquired Sennitt’s Ice Cream

When Unilever acquired Sennitt's the polar bear logo disappearedThe Sennitt’s Ice Cream brand was discontinued when Unilever acquired Sennitt’s and the company was merged with Streets. The famous polar bear logo disappeared, but the signs remain sought-after by collectors. More

1961 Toto’s Pizzeria opens in Carlton

Toto's Pizzeria signToto’s claims to be the first pizzeria in Australia, and on this basis was inducted into World Pizza Hall of Fame in 2007. However, it’s a false claim. Lucia’s Pizza Bar, in Adelaide’s Central Market, opened four years earlier. Toto’s may well have been the first in Melbourne,  opening on 7 July 1961 in Lygon Street, Carlton. Salvatore Della Bruna operated the business in partnership with Franco Fera and, from 1968, with Silvio Tuli and Salvatore Mercogliano. The partners sold the business to Sami Mazloum in 1983.


1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking first published.

Mastering the Art of French CookingAlthough this book is largely credited to Julia Child, it was co-authored with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, whom Child met in Paris. Julia Child had attended the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and studied privately with various French chefs. The first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking ran to 734-pages. It was a best-seller and is still in print. More

1960 Restaurant licence introduced in Victoria

The new licence allowed alcohol to be served with food. Formerly only hotels, registered clubs and wine saloons could legally serve alcohol, even with meals. Balzac restaurant held the first restaurant licence in Victoria, allowing alcohol to be served with meals until 10 p.m. Balzac, which operated between 1958 and 2001, was started by George and Mirka Mora who sold it in the late 1970s to Leon Massoni. In the 60s, new licensed restaurants began to open in Melbourne. More

1960 Margaret Fulton joins Woman’s Day

Margaret Fulton autobiographyMargaret Fulton, then working at advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, joined the weekly women’s magazine Woman’s Day as food editor and began to introduce Australians to a wider world of cookery. She remained at Woman’s Day for 19 years, before moving to the Murdoch-owned New Idea.  She was to become Australia’s leading cooking pundit, being awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in 1983 and named an Australian Living National Treasure by the National Trust. Margaret Fulton published her autobiography in 1999. More

1960 Fanny’s restaurant opens

Gloria Staley at Fanny’s restaurantFanny’s restaurant was opened by Gloria and Blyth Staley in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, on the site of a Greek café. It eventually closed in 1993.  It was a classic, formal, European restaurant beloved by Melbourne’s upper crust. Gloria Staley, though not a chef, devised the menus. Fanny’s was influential and many of the waiters and chefs went on to make their mark in other restaurants. More

1960 Myer’s Chadstone Shopping Centre opens

Chadstone Shopping CentreIn 1960, Myer completed the Chadstone Shopping Centre 12  kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.  “Chaddy”, as it soon came to be called, was the first self-contained regional shopping centre in Melbourne, and the largest in Australia at the time. The opening on 4 October 1960 was televised and the advertising offered 45-degree angled parking spaces to make shopping ‘easier’ for women who could not manage reverse parking.>eMelbourne

1960 First Woolworths supermarket

Woolworths-logo-1960The first Woolworths supermarket was opened at Warrawong in New South Wales in May 1960. It offered a range of variety goods and food, with adjacent parking space. The same year, Woolworths made their first move into liquor, when they purchased a store at Leederville, WA, which had a liquor licence.  Further licenses were acquired and consolidated into one trading unit in 1984.

1960 First Coles supermarket

Coles logoThe first Coles supermarket – a freestanding suburban supermarket complete with carpark –  opened in the Melbourne suburb of North Balwyn in 1960.  By 1973, Coles had supermarkets in every capital city in Australia. Supermarkets, complete with extensive car parks, had begun their unstoppable progress throughout the suburbs.