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John Gorton 10 Jan 1968 19th Prime Minister
After the Liberal Party elected Senator John Gorton as the new Party leader, he was sworn in as Prime Minister.
John Gorton 31 Jan 1968 Independent Nauru
Nauru gained independence from Australia and special member status in the British Commonwealth. Australia, New Zealand and Britain handed over their joint control of the local phosphate industry in 1970.
John Gorton 04 Jul 1968 Moratorium protest
A major demonstration in the ongoing campaigns against the war in Vietnam ended in violence. Crowds outside the United States consulate in Melbourne were charged by mounted police. Prime Minister John Gorton had announced in February that no further Australian troops would be sent to Vietnam, but 8000 men were already fighting there.
John Gorton 28 Oct 1968 The postman calls once
Twice-daily mail deliveries, an urban standard since Federation, ceased around Australia. The previous year the national postcode system had been introduced to facilitate sorting large volumes of mail.
John Gorton 01 Dec 1968 Full wages
For the first time Aboriginal workers on Northern Territory pastoral stations earned full wages. The award wage entitlement was later extended to all Indigenous employees of the Commonwealth government.
John Gorton 30 Apr 1969 17th Governor-General
Perth-born Sir Paul Hasluck served as Governor-General until 11 July 1974.
John Gorton 19 Jun 1969 Almost equal pay
After decades of campaigning, women workers were granted equal pay rates with men doing comparable work. Because the Arbitration Commission’s decision was for incremental increases, pay parity was not achieved until 1972.
John Gorton 21 Jul 1969 Men on the moon
When two United States astronauts stepped onto the moon, millions of viewers around the world watched on television. The images were received from Apollo II via Australia’s giant telescope in Parkes, New South Wales. The signals were sent from Parkes to Sydney by microwave, and then relayed as television signals to the ABC studios at Gore Hill in Sydney, and then to Houston, Texas for the international telecast.
John Gorton 25 Oct 1969 27th federal election
House of Representatives
John Gorton 29 Nov 1969 The Indian-Pacific completed
The final section of the transcontinental railway was rebuilt to a standard gauge. Preparations then began for the service enabling passengers to cross the continent without changing trains at State borders.
John Gorton 16 Dec 1969 Coming home
Prime Minister John Gorton announced that a withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam would commence the following year.
John Gorton 04 Jul 1970 Changing to metric
A Metric Conversion Board was established to implement a gradual transfer from imperial to metric weights and measures.
John Gorton 01 Sep 1970 Uranium discovered
A rich uranium deposit was reported at Nabarlek in the Northern Territory. Prime Minister John Gorton warned two weeks later that any foreign takeover would be prevented if necessary by legislation.
John Gorton 18 Sep 1970 Second moratorium
The second Vietnam moratorium also involved massive rallies around Australia. In November a battalion returning after its tour of duty was not replaced. This was the beginning of the reduction in Australian forces in Vietnam.