1938 in Australia
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|1938 in Australia|
|Governor-General||Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie|
|Prime minister||Joseph Lyons|
|Elections||SA, NSW, QLD|
- Monarch – King George VI
- Governor-General – Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie
- Prime Minister – Joseph Lyons
- Premier of New South Wales – Bertram Stevens
- Premier of Queensland – William Forgan Smith
- Premier of South Australia – Richard L. Butler (until 5 November), then Thomas Playford IV
- Premier of Tasmania – Albert Ogilvie
- Premier of Victoria – Albert Dunstan
- Premier of Western Australia – John Willcock
- Governor of New South Wales – John Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst
- Governor of Queensland – Sir Leslie Orme Wilson
- Governor of South Australia – Sir Winston Dugan
- Governor of Tasmania – Sir Ernest Clark
- Governor of Victoria – William Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield
- Governor of Western Australia – none appointed
- 26 January – Australia officially celebrates its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of European settlement. Unofficially, it is a Day of Mourning for Indigenous Australians.
- 6 February – Three hundred beachgoers are dragged out to sea when three freak waves strike Bondi Beach in Sydney in an event known as "Black Sunday". A team of eighty surf lifesavers manage to rescue all but five people.
- 13 February – Nineteen people die when Sydney ferry the Rodney, carrying 150 passengers, capsizes in Sydney Harbour while farewelling US Navy cruiser USS Louisville.
- 1 April – New monthly newspaper Abo Call begins publication in Sydney, focusing on issues of Aboriginal rights and edited by activist Jack Patten.
- 11 May – Two jockeys are killed and two are injured in a horse racing accident at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia.
- 25 October – Eighteen people die in Australia's worst air disaster when the Douglas DC-2 Kyeema crashes in the Dandenong Ranges in thick fog.
- 15 November – Waterside workers at Port Kembla, New South Wales refuse to load a consignment of scrap iron destined for Japan, arguing that it would be used for munitions. Attorney-General Robert Menzies attempts to force the loading of the cargo, earning himself the nickname "Pig Iron Bob".
- 21 December – A direct radio-telephone link is established between Canberra and Washington D.C.
- 28 December – The Sydney Mail ceases publication.
Arts and literature
Main article: 1938 in Australian literature
- 31 March – Xavier Herbert wins the Commonwealth 150th anniversary literary award for his novel Capricornia.
- 30 December – The Passing of the Aborigines by Daisy Bates is published.
- 5 to 12 February – The 1938 British Empire Games are held in Sydney. Australia leads the medal tally at the games, winning 25 gold medals, 19 silver and 22 bronze.
- 24 September – Carlton defeat Collingwood 15.10 (100) to 13.7 (85) in the grand final, becoming premiers of the 1938 VFL season.
- 1 November – Catalogue wins the Melbourne Cup.
- 12 January – Lewis Fiander, actor
- 12 January – Noel McNamara, crime victims supporter
- 13 January – Daevid Allen, musician (Soft Machine)
- 17 January – David Theile, backstroke swimmer
- 25 February – Herb Elliott, athlete
- 28 February – Dennis Olsen, pianist, actor and director
- 1 March – Henry Reynolds, historian
- 5 March – Mike Walsh, television presenter
- 25 March – Anthony Carwardine, naval officer
- 13 April – Col Joye, entertainer
- 20 April – Betty Cuthbert, athlete
- 5 June – Roy Higgins, jockey
- 18 June – Kevin Murray, Australian rules footballer (Fitzroy)
- 20 June – Joan Kirner, Premier of Victoria (1990–1992)
- 13 July – Ian Macphee, politician, Minister for Immigration
- 23 July – Bert Newton, entertainer
- 28 July – Robert Hughes, art critic
- 9 August – Rodney Laver, tennis player
- 22 August – Roger Gyles, lawyer and judge
- 30 August – Murray Gleeson, High Court judge
- 6 September – Ernie Sigley, entertainer
- 8 October – Fred Stolle, tennis player
- 17 October – Les Murray, poet
- 30 October – Morris Lurie, writer
- 8 November – Bob Skilton, Australian rules footballer (South Melbourne)
- 26 November – Rodney Jory, physicist
- 11 December – Reg Livermore, actor, singer and television presenter
- 21 December – Frank Moorhouse, writer
- 6 January – John Gavin (born 1875), film director
- 15 January – Paul Raphael Montford (born 1868), sculptor
- 21 January – Will Dyson (born 1880), cartoonist
- 31 January – John Barnes (born 1868), politician
- 16 February – Thomas Molloy (born 1852), WA politician
- 21 April – Sir Talbot Hobbs (born 1864), architect
- 11 May – Lawrence Wells (born 1860), explorer
- 17 May – Nora Clench (born 1867), Canadian violinist
- 17 June – Ranji Hordern (born 1883), cricketer
- 19 June – Jack Hides (born 1906), explorer
- 22 June – C. J. Dennis (born 1876), poet
- 29 June – Sir Colin Mackenzie (born 1877), anatomist and museum administrator
- 30 August – Evelyn Marsden (born 1883), survivor of the Titanic
- 11 September – Sir Philip Whistler Street (born 1863), NSW Supreme Court judge
- 12 October – Hugh Massie (born 1854), cricketer
- 25 October – Charles Hawker (born 1884), politician
- 29 November – John Sandes (born 1863), journalist and author
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