The 8Os... Wow Dude!
Chapter 1 : 1980s - Decade in context
The Australian economy was booming in the 1980s, but the 1987 stock
market crash forced the economy into recession
Amid the glamour and greed of the 1980s, many environmental causes
came to the forefront of public debate.
Immigration rates were high in the 1980s. Racial tolerance improved as
Australians embraced multiculturalism.
Uluru was handed back to its Aboriginal owners in 1986, marking a step
forward in the Indigenous land rights struggle.
The Bicentenary of 1988 celebrated Australia's white heritage and culture.
Many Indigenous people, though, considered it a time for mourning.
Chapter 2 : Music and entertainment
Australian music gained confidence in the 1980s, and many bands achieved
The number of Australian television programmes reached a peak in the
1980s, but American programmes remained popular.
The miniseries became a popular television format. Miniseries' mostly
explored stories from Australia's past.
Home computers became more common, and computer and video games
Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) freed consumers from the constraints of
TV schedules, and caused a decline in cinema attendance.
Many Australian films produced in the 1980s were designed to appeal to an
Chapter 3 : Fashion in the 1980s
Baby boomers matured in the 1980s, and dictated the glamorous, upmarket
Clothing styles reflected the rampant consumerism and materialism of the
The styles of film, television and music stars filtered into mainstream
Power suits were designed to make the wearer look authoritative and
Princess Diana was the predominant female fashion icon of the decade
The fitness craze spurred the development of specially-designed sportswear
Punk fashion was a rebellion against both the peace-loving ideals of the
hippie era, and the consumerism of the 1980s.
Chapter 4 : Sport in the 1980s
Sport in Australia allows an expression of traditional national values. It also
reflects the British and American influence on our culture.
The Brisbane Commonwealth Games and Australia's America's Cup victory
led to an upsurge in national pride.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) opened in 1981, prompting a new era
of success for Australian athletes.
Increased corporate involvement saw millions of dollars injected into
Australian sport, changing the way it was played.
Women participated in almost all sports in the 1980s, but would struggle to
achieve true equality in the areas of funding and media coverage.
Chapter 5 : American and British cultural influence 1980s
The Australian identity has evolved over the decades, from that of a British
colony, to a diverse global culture.
American music artists were popular in Australia during the 1980s, due in
part to music videos.
American products dominated Australian cinemas and television screens,
although the domestic film and television industries were booming.
Australian sport adopted the glitzy presentation and TV-friendly conventions
of American sport.
Fast food chains and supermarkets changed Australia's eating habits in the
Critics are divided over whether Australian cultural products have been able
to retain a unique Australian identity in the face of American influence.
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