1942 in Australia
|1942 in Australia|
|Governor-General||Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie|
|Prime minister||John Curtin|
- Monarch – King George VI
- Governor-General – Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie
- Prime Minister – John Curtin
- Premier of New South Wales – William McKell
- Premier of Queensland – William Forgan Smith (until 16 September), then Frank Cooper
- Premier of South Australia – Thomas Playford
- Premier of Tasmania – Robert Cosgrove
- 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 Malcolm Barclay-Harvey
- Governor of Tasmania – Sir Ernest Clark
- Governor of Victoria – Sir Winston Dugan
- Governor of Western Australia – none appointed
- 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
- 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
- The Pea-Pickers by Eve Langley is first published
- William Dargie wins the Archibald Prize with his portrait of James Heather Gordon VC
- 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
- 13 May – Richard Butler, diplomat and Governor of Tasmania (2003–2004)
- 15 May – Doug Lowe, Premier of Tasmania (1977–1981)
- 16 May – Margaret Court, tennis player
- 21 May – John Konrads, swimmer
- 2 June – Mike Ahern, Premier of Queensland (1987–1989)
- 18 June – Nick Tate, actor
- 30 June – Gerry Hand, politician
- 2 July – John Farrington, long-distance runner
- 7 July – Carmen Duncan, actress
- 12 July – Billy Smith, rugby league footballer
- 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
- 23 December – Quentin Bryce, Governor of Queensland (2003–2008), Governor-General of Australia (2008-2014)
- 22 February – Frank Leslie Thomson Wilmot (born 1881), poet
- 27 April – Julian Ashton (born 1851), painter
- 12 May – Sir Harold Crisp (born 1874), Chief Justice of Tasmania
- 3 September – Mungo MacCallum – (born 1854), scholar
- "Winner: Archibald Prize 1942 - William Dargie". artgallery.nsw.gov.au. Art Gallery of NSW. Retrieved 9 August 2017.