1942 in Australia
|1942 in Australia|
|Governor-General||Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie|
|Prime minister||John Curtin|
Australia had a population of 7,201,096 people consisting of 3,619,699 men and 3,581,397 women
- Monarch – George VI
- Governor-General – Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie
- Prime Minister – John Curtin
- Chief Justice – Sir John Latham
- 15 February – Singapore falls to the Japanese, with approximately 15,000 Australian troops taken prisoner.
- 16 February - The Bangka Island massacre takes place.
- 19 February – Darwin is bombed by Japanese forces for the first time. At least 243 persons are killed.
- 1 March – The cruiser HMAS Perth is torpedoed by Japanese destroyers in the Battle of Sunda Strait, sinking with the loss of 350 crew and three civilians.
- 3 March – 88 Allied civilians and military personnel were killed and 22 aircraft were lost when Japanese Zero fighters strafed Broome.
- 20 March – At Terowie, South Australia, American General Douglas MacArthur makes his famous speech which included the words "I came out of Bataan and I shall return."
- 4 May – The Battle of the Coral Sea begins.
- 19 May – The prototype CAC Boomerang, an Australian designed and built fighter aircraft, takes to the air for the first time.
- 22 May – American soldier Eddie Leonski is arrested and charged for the "Brownout Murders" of three women.
- 31 May – During an attack on Sydney Harbour, a Japanese midget submarine sinks the converted Sydney ferry, HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21.
- 7 June – The Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Act 1942 is enacted, transferring the power to levy personal income tax from the states to the federal government.
- 8 June – Japanese midget submarines shell Sydney and Newcastle.
- 6 July – Elements of the Australian 9th Division arrive in El Alamein. The Division subsequently takes part in the First and Second Battle of El Alamein.
- 21 July - Australia Fights Japan in Kokoda Trail
- 9 October - Australia adopts sections 2 to 6 of the Statute of Westminster 1931 effectively ending British dominion
- 30 October – Construction begins on the Burma Railway, begun by 15,000 Australian prisoners-of-war captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore.
- 16 November - Japan retreats from Kokoda Trail with Australia being the Victor
- 26 November – A violent brawl breaks out in Brisbane between United States military personnel and Australian servicemen and civilians, in what becomes known as the "Battle of Brisbane". One Australian soldier is shot dead.
- 1 December – HMAS Armidale, a corvette of the Royal Australian Navy, is sunk by Japanese with the loss of 100 men.
Arts and literature
- Colonus wins the Melbourne Cup
- 17 January – Ita Buttrose, journalist
- 19 February – David Williamson, playwright
- 24 February – Colin Bond, racing driver
- 13 March – George Negus, journalist
- 3 April - Keppel Coughlan, agricultural scientist
- 9 May – Brendon Hackwill (died 1995), Australian rules football player and basketball player
- 13 May – Richard Butler, diplomat and Governor of Tasmania (2003–2004)
- 15 May – Doug Lowe, Premier of Tasmania (1977–1981)
- 21 May – John Konrads, swimmer
- 2 June – Mike Ahern, Premier of Queensland (1987–1989)
- 10 June – Les Carlyon, writer and newspaper editor (died 2019)
- 18 June – Nick Tate, actor
- 29 June – Mike Willesee, television journalist (died 2019)
- 30 June – Gerry Hand, politician
- 2 July – John Farrington, long-distance runner
- 7 July – Carmen Duncan, actress (died 2019)
- 12 July – Billy Smith, rugby league footballer
- 16 July – Margaret Court, tennis player
- 23 July – Sallyanne Atkinson, Lord Mayor of Brisbane
- 25 July – Bruce Woodley, musician
- 28 July – John Sattler, rugby league footballer
- 19 October – Bronwyn Bishop, politician
- 17 November – Derek Clayton, long-distance runner
- 30 November – Michael Ah Matt (died 1984), basketball player
- 23 December – Quentin Bryce, Governor of Queensland (2003–2008), Governor-General of Australia (2008-2014)
- 22 February – Frank Leslie Thomson Wilmot (b. 1881), poet
- 27 April – Julian Ashton (b. 1851), painter
- 12 May – Sir Harold Crisp (b. 1874), Chief Justice of Tasmania
- 3 September – James Hume Cook – (b. 1866), politician
- 3 September – Mungo MacCallum – (b. 1854), scholar
- 11 March Reginald Stoneham (b. 1879) composer, music publisher, War veteran
- "Winner: Archibald Prize 1942 - William Dargie". artgallery.nsw.gov.au. Art Gallery of NSW. Retrieved 9 August 2017.