2012 was, for many Australians living in the UK, dominated by one thing — the London Olympics. Combined with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as an adopted London resident it was definitely a year to remember. Dominating the Australian media back home was Julia Gillard surviving a leadership challenge from Kevin Rudd and taking Tony Abbott to task for a perceived misogynistic attitude, as well as her government’s passing of a number of key legislation, including the mining tax and a carbon price. Australia’s economy remained at the forefront of media attention, performing well in the developed world as other nations suffered the effects of the GFC.
Australia’s place in the world also drew interest, with Australia winning a UN Security Council seat and the release of the Asian Century White Paper which made it clear Australia’s future lies in Asia. Julian Assange once again made headlines, holing up in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. Gina Rinehart seemingly never left the front page, with her bitter family squabble playing out in Australian courts, and her comments that most Australians just needed to work harder.
And finally, the Chamberlains were vindicated thirty-two years, four inquests and one royal commission after Lindy Chamberlain saw a dingo take her baby in a Northern Territory camping ground.
Back in the UK on AustralianTimes.co.uk, the top stories attracting your interest focussed on the Olympics, and the royal hoax call scandal.
The Top 10 stories viewed on AustralianTimes.co.uk for 2012
1. Olympic World Record attempt for Australians in London
In the lead up to the Olympics, London-based Aussies were invited to participate in a Guinness World Record attempt for most people wearing the same full team kit. Expecting about 1000 supporters, Windmill Pub was instead inundated with more than 3000, many of whom lined up from 2pm to take part. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough team kits for everyone to take part, but Aussies helped smash the previous record with 935 posing in their team kit in the shape of a giant “G’Day”.
2. The death of the nurse who received the royal hoax prank call
The tragic death of the nurse at the London hospital who had transferred a prank call from two Australian DJs dominated headlines both in the UK and back home. The DJ’s, pretending to be Prince Charles and the Queen, called the hospital and were told private details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s condition whilst in the hospital suffering morning sickness.
Read: OPINION | Guilt and blame the ultimate shape-shifters
3. The closing of Redback Tavern in London
It seems there are many upset Aussie punters in London left bereft from the closing of Redback Tavern from the number of you who clicked on this story. Ongoing licensing issues forced the closure of this Antipodean live music venue and infamous drinking hole, despite a petition to save it.
4. PM confirms 2012 apocalypse in spoof video
Julia Gillard’s spoof video confirming the end of the world was on its way earned this year’s number four spot. Her warnings of “flesh eating zombies” and “demonic hell beasts” were counter to NASA reassurances to the public that there was no truth to apocalypse predictions. Seeing as we’re all around to read this New Year’s edition, it seems NASA was right after all.
5. Australia’s solar eclipse
Despite being across the other side of the world, it seems many are still longing for a slice of home. Record numbers tuned into our live stream of the solar eclipse experienced in Tropical North Queensland in November.
Eclipse 2012 Photo Album
6. Woman’s Day ignores ‘media blackout’ on Will and Kate honeymoon pictures
Possibly readers desperate for their own glimpse of the honeymoon pictures, this story ranked sixth. Woman’s Day ran exclusive honeymoon pictures in their magazine despite a request from Clarence House for media to respect their privacy. The magazine reportedly paid $1 million for the images.
7. The “Aussie man and van sham”
When Aussie Group, formerly Aussie Man & Van, went into receivership it left many Aussie expats out of pocket and with their goods unable to be shipped back to Australia. The brands and assets of Aussie Group were acquired by Ward Thomas Removals, who intended to reunite Aussies with their belongings.
8. Australians could be told to earn £31K or leave the UK
A plan unveiled by UK Immigration Minister Damian Green in February that suggested Australians earn £31K or leave Britain after five years worried many Australian Times readers.
9. YouTube video of racist abuse captures Australia’s darker side
A report on the YouTube video of an abusive display of violent threats and racism towards a young French woman sparked an outcry, globally and on our website. The video lead many to express their disgust at the behaviour, and ask, not for the first time, do we have a problem with racism in Australia?
10. ‘Ranga’ added to new edition of Australian Oxford Dictionary
‘Ranga’ — a colloquial term for a person with red hair — is set to be included in the latest editions of the Oxford Australia Dictionary. Our look at the unique history of the word in Australia earned it tenth place in our top 10 list, as well as a record 1.7k Facebook shares.
Happy New Year from Australian Times!
For London’s best New Year’s activities see New Year’s Eve in London: 2012’s best parties and events.