Events

2007 Australia’s first truffle festival

Although Australia’s first farmed black truffle was harvested in 1999 in Tasmania, Australia's first truffle festival took place in an… Read More

2007 Prime Minister plugs Iced VoVo

The Iced VoVo is a sweet biscuit first made by Arnott’s around 1904.  It has two strips of pink icing… Read More

2005 Adelaide Food Summit

The Adelaide Food Summit on The Future of Food was held between 25-26 October as a Tasting Australia event and… Read More

2003 Aussie is world’s best barista

25-year-old Paul Bassett from Australia was officially named the world's best barista. He won the World Barista Championship title in the… Read More

2001 Australian Barista Championship begins

Although coffee culture began seeping into Australian life in the mid-20th century with the introduction of the espresso machine, it… Read More

2000 GST introduced

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced, providing another incentive to eat at home. Food for human consumption was… Read More

1999 into 2000 The Millennium Bug

As clocks prepared to tick over from 1999 to 2000, the so-called millennium bug became big news. In the fear… Read More

1998 Great Vanilla Slice Triumph

The Great Vanilla Slice Triumph began in Ouyen in 1998 after then-Victorian premier Geoff Kennett claimed the vanilla slice from… Read More

1998 SMH Good Food Month launched

The Sydney Morning Herald sponsored Sydney's Good Food Month in October as an adjunct to their Good Food Guide. The… Read More

1997 Tasting Australia begins in Adelaide

Aimed primarily at bringing international food and travel media to Australia, Tasting Australia was initially held in conjunction with the… Read More

1995 Slow Food Australia founded

Slow Food Australia operates through a series of convivia, each mandated directly from the Italian headquarters in Bra, Italy. The first… Read More

1993 First Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival was devised and, initially, financed by leading Melbourne ad-man Peter Clemenger as a way… Read More

1993 Gay Bilson’s tripe tablecloth

The kitchen staff from Berowra Waters Inn restaurant, under the leadership of Gay Bilson, made a tablecloth of raw tripe… Read More

1991 First Orange F.O.O.D. Week

The Orange F.O.O.D. Week was initially held in April 1991 with a small number of visionary Orange producers and chefs,… Read More

1990 Paul Keating’s “recession we had to have”

In 1990, Treasurer Paul Keating admitted that Australia was in recession. "The first thing to say is, the accounts do… Read More

1989 Slow Food International is founded

The predecessor of Slow Food, Arcigola, began in Bra, Italy, the hometown of founder Carlo Petrini, who was horrified at… Read More

1989 Sausage sizzle electoral row

We love our "democracy sausage". But in 1989, the Labor Premier of Western Australia, Peter Dowding, was in trouble for… Read More

1989 The Taste Festival first held in Hobart

The Taste Festival, now known as the Taste of Tasmania, is held on the Hobart Waterfront. It begins after Christmas… Read More

1987 Black Monday kills the big business lunch

The ‘80s ‘greed is good’ philosophy came to an abrupt end when the stock markets crashed on Black Monday, 19… Read More

1986 Fringe Benefits Tax introduced

The federal Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) was introduced on 1 July 1986. FBT was payable on restaurant meals, which were… Read More

1984 First Symposium of Australian Gastronomy

The first Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was held in Adelaide, convened by Michael Symons, Gay Bilson and Graham Pont. It… Read More

1980 Christmas in July in the Blue Mountains

Christmas in July is not a wholly Australian tradition. But in Australia it seems to have its origins in the… Read More

1972 It’s time – Labor in, White Australia out

Gough Whitlam’s Labor government was elected after 23 years of Liberal Party rule. In 1973, the government legislated to eliminate… Read More

1964 The Big Banana

Claiming to be the first and most famous of Australia's "Big Things" (although it was actually pipped by the Big… Read More

1961 First Tupperware party in Australia

Earl Silas Tupper introduced the range of plastic containers in the USA in 1946. Their trademark was the distinctive “burping"… Read More

1952 Riots in Bonegilla migrant camp

Post WWII migrants were temporarily housed in camps, such as a former army camp at Bonegilla. They protested about the… Read More

1949-74 Snowy Mountains Scheme

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric  Scheme was an ambitious engineering project to turn back the waters of rivers that flowed east… Read More

1947 Royal wedding cake frenzy

Australians love a good royal wedding. So when Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Australian organisations were falling over each… Read More

1947 First Barossa Vintage Festival

The original Barossa Vintage Festival was a single event - a Thanksgiving Ball to celebrate the end of harvest and… Read More

1947 Jan Trezise born on 12 March

I am the author of this timeline, once Jan Trezise and now Jan O'Connell. I am a baby-boomer, born in… Read More

1940 Beer riot in Brisbane

In October 1940, a group of soldiers rioted in Brisbane as authorities began strict enforcement of the 8 o'clock closing… Read More

1939 World War II declared

At 9.15pm on 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Menzies said in a radio address to the nation "It is my… Read More

1931 Beef Riot in Adelaide

In one of the most notorious incidents of the Great Depression, around 2000 of the unemployed staged a march from… Read More

1929-1932 Great depression

The Wall Street crash of October 1929 heralded a worldwide depression that saw one in three Australian breadwinners unemployed.  In… Read More

1927 Parliament House opened in Canberra

After the ceremony, the official party, including the Duke and Duchess of York, lunched on  turtle soup, poached schnapper, fillets… Read More

1925 The Empire Christmas Pudding

It started as a marketing idea. The original recipe for the Empire Christmas Pudding was published in an advertisement developed… Read More

1921 Group Settlement Scheme in WA

The Group Settlement Scheme in the south-west of Western Australia was a government venture designed to establish a dairy industry.… Read More

1919 Spanish Flu disrupts food supplies

In the wake of World War I, returning soldiers brought the so-called "Spanish" influenza to Australia. Around 40 per cent… Read More

1918 Darwin beer rebellion

In 1918, beer prices became a trigger for what became known as the Darwin Rebellion. When an angry crowd marched… Read More

1917 The Berliner becomes the Kitchener Bun

During World War I, the antipathy towards all things German even extended to food. In South Australia, the popular doughnut-like… Read More

1914 Tango suppers the rage in Melbourne

In 1913, the tango craze swept Europe, Britain and America.  Australia was not far behind. In March 2014 the Paris… Read More

1907? Nellie Melba bathes in champagne

According to legend, Hans Irvine, then owner of Great Western wines, heard that Dame Nellie Melba had expressed the wish… Read More

1904 Chook raffle goes wrong

In June 1904, the Kalgoorlie Sun recounted the tale of a chook raffle in a local pub. The chicken, in… Read More

1903 First Australian barbecue

The term 'barbecue', referring to a cooking method was certainly known in England well before the First Fleet departed for… Read More

1902 Last Bunya nut gathering

The bunya nut, from the Bunya Pine, was an important food source for aboriginal people of Queensland’s Darling Downs area.… Read More

1901 Federation banquet

A grand Federation banquet at Sydney Town Hall celebrated the creation of a nation, as the separate British colonies joined… Read More

1899 Lord Lamington’s banquet

A satirical verse, titled Lamington's Banquet, was published in The Worker. It detailed a formal banquet menu, fairly typical for… Read More

1893 Height of 1890s depression

The 1890s depression in Australia occurred after the land boom bubble of the 1880s burst. Overseas investment dried up, banks… Read More

1886 Dishwasher patented by Josephine Cochran

The first patent for a dish-washing machine was issued in 1850 in the USA, but the machine was never put… Read More

1876 The first Ekka in Brisbane

It wasn't called the Ekka then, of course. The Intercolonial Exhibition of 1876 was the first exhibition of the National… Read More

1867 Royal banquet chaos in Melbourne

To celebrate the first royal visit to Australia, by Queen Victoria’s second son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, a public… Read More

1866-67 Intercolonial Exhibition of Australasia

The Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace in 1851 stimulated half a century of ‘exhibition fever’.  Events like the Intercolonial… Read More

1861 Burke and Wills poisoned?

The Burke and Wills expedition to cross Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria ended in tragedy when the explorers ran… Read More

1860 Camels landed in Melbourne

Twenty-five camels landed in Melbourne in 1860 to carry supplies for the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Many more followed,… Read More

1851 Gold rush brings immigrants

Gold was discovered in New South Wales in 1851, initiating Australia's first gold rush. Subsequent discoveries in Victoria attracted immigrants… Read More

1822 Agricultural Society of NSW formed

The Agricultural Society of NSW was formed in 1822, holding its first Show the following year. The Shows, known originally… Read More

1817 Macquarie recommends name ‘Australia’

In 1814, Matthew Flinders had suggested that the name 'Australia' be adopted for the continent which had, until then, been… Read More

1815 Road across the Blue Mountains completed

William Cox was appointed by Governor Macquarie to construct a road across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. New farming land… Read More

1814 Holey dollar replaces rum as currency

In the early days British currency, or sterling, was in short supply in New South Wales. Much of it was… Read More

1813 Crossing the Blue Mountains

Crossing the Blue Mountains had proved a challenge to the white colonists, although aboriginal people had been moving through the… Read More

1810 The Rum Hospital

The rum trade was influential in the new colony. In 1910, when government funds were insufficient to build a new… Read More

1788 First official banquet

The first official banquet in the new colony was held to celebrate the King’s birthday on 4 June. The occasion… Read More

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