- Sir Robert is invested as Knight of the Order of Australia by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The presentation takes place in the Long Room of the Melbourne Cricket Ground at the centenary cricket test in March.
- January 18: 82 people killed in the Granville train disaster, NSW.
- 25th Anniversary Royal Tour.
- Don Chipp leaves the Liberal Party and forms a new party, the Australian Democrats.
- Advance Australia Fair replaces God Save the Queen as Australia's national anthem after a national opinion poll finds it the most popular option with the Australian people.
- South Africa's apartheid policy leads to tighter controls over black people.
- United Nations imposes a mandatory arms ban on South Africa.
- Historic visit of Egyptian President Sadat to Israel, and return visit to Egypt of Israel's Prime Minister Begin.
- Middle East peace talks begin between Israel and Egypt with strong support from the USA.
- First commercial flight between London-New York of Concorde supersonic airliner.