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1940s

Defining Moments in Australian History

Warning: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

1940s

1942: Australian troops return to fight in the Pacific
1942: Japanese Imperial Army invades Singapore
1942: Japanese bomb Darwin but are halted on Kokoda Trail
1943: First women elected to Australian Parliament
1944: Formation of Liberal Party of Australia
1945: Australian Government announces postwar immigration drive
1945: Florey, Fleming and Chain win Nobel Prize for developing penicillin
1945: National introduction of sickness and unemployment benefits
1945: Australia plays a leading role in founding United Nations
1948: Australia’s first locally made car, the Holden 48-215, launched
1949: Election of the Menzies government – the longest serving in Australian history
1949: Chifley government begins Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme