1989 – Another astonishing year for the history books that saw tumult abroad and new beginnings closer to home:

– Fisrt stage of the new Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre opened to the public in Kippa Ring

– HECS is introduced with the introduction of the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 on January 1

– First elections held in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

– The findings of the Fitzgerald Enquiry are released to the Queensland public. Subsequently, the Police Commissioner Terry Lewis was charged with corruption and the Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen was brought up on charges of perjury, only to later escape prosecution on account of a mistrial

– Gaby Kennard becomes the first Australian woman to fly non-stop around the world

– Fast Forward premiers on Australian television

– After 32 years in power, and tainted by the Fitzgerald enquiry, the National Party is thrown out of office by the Wayne Goss led Labor Party

– An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the richter scale hits Newcastle in NSW, killing 13 people

– The NSWRL unveil their new advertising campaign with Tina Turner mixing it up with the players to the tune of her What You Get is What You See. The season culminates in the grand final between Canberra and Balmain, still regarded as perhaps the greatest match in Rugby League history

– Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses is declared offensive by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who issues a fatwa sentencing the author to death. Rushdie goes into hiding for many years

– Thousands of activists are killed in China’s Tiananmen Square massacre. The activists were part of a wider movement pushing for a more open democracy

– Across Eastern Europe, Communist leaderships are overthrown including those in Czechoslovakia and Romania. This culminates with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, which had divided Germany for nearly 30 years

– The Exxon Valdez oil tanker ruptures and sends 11 million tonnes of crude oil into the wilderness of Alaska’s Prince William Sound, devastating the pristine natural environment

Batman, Born on the Fourth of July, Field of Dreams, The Abyss, My Left Foot and Do the Right Thing are released

Births: Bronte Barratt (8 February), Jharal Yow Yeh (22 December)
Deaths: Salvador Dali (23 January), Sugar Ray Robinson (12 April), Sir Laurence Olivier (11 July), Bette Davis (6 October), Samuel Beckett (22 December)