4 January – Louise Bell, aged 10-years, disappeared from her bedroom in Hackham West, South Australia. Her body has not been located. On 11 November 2016, 68-year-old Dieter Pfennig was found guilty of murdering her. He was already serving a life sentence for murdering a boy in 1989 and the abduction and rape of another boy.
14 January - Federal Opposition Leader Bill Hayden reshuffles the shadow frontbench, while a conspiracy to depose him still looms large.
3 February – Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is granted a double dissolution of both houses of parliament for a double dissolution election for 5 March. On the same day Bob Hawke replaces Bill Hayden as federal ALP leader.
8 February - A severe dust storm sweeps through Melbourne and deposits an estimated 1,000 tonnes of topsoil on the city.
23 February - Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's claim that people's savings would be safer under the bed than in the bank exposes him to ridicule, including Bob Hawke's riposte, "But that's where the Commies are!".
21 April - The National and International Security Committee decides to expel Soviet First Secretary Valery Ivanov and to blacklist David Coombe, a Canberra lobbyist and former Australian Labor Party National Secretary, whom Ivanov was thought to have been cultivating.
14 June - The Royal Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Bendigo rescues British solo navigator, Peter Bird, as his boat was wrecked just 33 kilometres from Wreck Bay at the northern extremity of Queensland. Bird had crossed 9,000 kilometres of the Pacific Ocean in 294 days in a 10.6 metre rowing boat.
14 July - Mick Young resigns as Special Minister of State after admitting being indiscrete in remarks he made about the expulsion of Soviet First Secretary Valery Ivanov to lobbyist Eric Walsh and Australian National Opinion Polls' Rod Cameron, both of whom were friends of Mick Young.
2 August - Paul Sharp becomes the first European to cross the Simpson Desert alone and on foot.
4 August - Queensland Welfare Minister Terry White is dismissed from his portfolio for voting with the opposition during a debate on the establishment of a public accounts committee, despite this being a part of both Liberal and Labor policies.
18 August - A road train is deliberately driven into a motel at Ayers Rock, killing five people and injuring a further 20. The driver, Douglas Edwin Crabbe is subsequently convicted of murder.
9 December – Federal Treasurer Paul Keating announces that the Australian dollar would be allowed to float on the international money market. Under the old flexible peg system, the Reserve Bank bought and sold all Australian dollars and cleared the market at the end of the day.
30 April – Four Corners program aired exposing allegations that NSW Premier Neville Wran had tried to influence the magistry over the dropping of fraud charges against Kevin Humphreys, charged with misappropriation of funds from the Balmain Leagues Club. Humphreys is forced to resign his position as President of the NSWRL, while Wran has to face the Street Royal Commission over the allegations & was later exonerated.
26 September – After Australia's America's Cup win, Prime Minister Bob Hawke goes on the Today show and declared a public holiday for that day, stating that "any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."
26 February – Value of a rugby league try is increased to four points for the start of the 1983 season. A number of other rule changes are also made, including a "hand over" after six tackles instead of a scrum.
18 June – Fitzroy produce an amazing performance against North Melbourne in a top-of-the-table clash at the Junction Oval, winning by 150 points and kicking the third-highest VFL score to that point. The previous biggest loss by a minor premier was 69 points. Matt Rendell, effectively playing as a seventh forward, kicked eight goals after having not kicked one for seventeen games.