As we came to the end of the century’s first decade, Dan was settling into his new role as Legal Practice Director while Gary was getting used to having a Practice Partner again. While they set about putting into place many of the plans they had been working on, some of the  issues that had people’s attention included:

– Mary MacKillop becomes the first Australian to be declared a Saint, after being declared so by Benedict XVI;

– President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono becomes the first Indonesian Head of State to address the Australian Parliament;

– The Australian population officially exceeds 22 million;

– Prime Minister Rudd buckles under the pressure of the Tony Abbott – led Opposition and defers the introduction of his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until after 2012. A week later Rudd announces his intention to tax
the super profits of the mining industry to fund other initiatives. The moves accelerate an already dramatic slide in his approval ratings, sparking rumours of an unlikely threat to his position as Prime Minister;

– Fantasy becomes reality in unprecedented and unbelievable fashion on the night of 23rd June when Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, appalled at newspaper revelations that indicated she had lost the trust of Kevin Rudd and spurred on by a frustrated caucus, fronts the PM and announces her intention to challenge him the next day. Such is the mood within his own party to get rid of Rudd, he does not even stand against the challenge and Gillard is elected to the Prime Ministership unopposed;

– Nearly two months after the spill, a Federal election is held that results in a hung Parliament, with the balance of power resting with a small group of cross benchers. After seventeen days of horse trading and negotiations, Gillard prevails over Tony Abbott and is able to form a minority government with the support of independents Rob Oakshott and Tony Windsor;

– The Melbourne Storm Rugby League club is stripped of its 2007 and 2009 premierships and barred from receiving any premiership points for the 2010 season after significant and systemic breaches of the salary cap were discovered;

– Timana Tahu leaves the NSW State of Origin side in protest over assistant coach nd former great Andrew Johns made contemptible and racist remarks towards QLD legend Greg Inglis. The incident spurs the maroons to a 3-0 series whitewash to become the first side to win 5 consecutive State of Origin series;

– The Socceroos are unable to overcome a 4-0 thrashing in their opening game against Germany in the World Cup in South Africa, failing to progress beyond the group stage. There is further bad news for Australian soccer when our lengthy and scandalously expensive hosting bid for the 2022 World Cup yields exactly one vote from 22. In what is later proven to be a typical, yet nonetheless blatantly and diabolically corrupt process, the Sep Blatter – led FIFA award hosting rights for the tournament to Qatar;

– A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastates Haiti, most particularly its capital, Port-au-Prince. Approximately 200,000 people are killed and society essentially breaks down with catastrophic damage inflicted upon government services and infrastructure;

– The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupts, sending a huge plume of volcanic ash into the atmosphere over northern and central Europe. The cloud halts thousands of flights across the world, leaving millions of people stranded in airports for almost a week;

– An explosion on a BP oil rig off the Louisiana coast kills 11 people. Approximately 42,000 gallons of crude oil stream out into the Gulf of Mexico every hour for the next 86 days;

– 33 Chilean miners are rescued after being trapped underground for 2 months;

Animal Kingdom, Inside Job, The Ghost Writer, The Fighter, The Social Network, Black Swan, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception and Toy Story 3 are released;

Deaths:                J.D. Salinger (27 January), Arthur Penn (28 September), Tony Curtis (29 September), Dame Joan Sutherland (10 October), Leslie Nielsen (28 November)