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.
3 February – Australian P.M 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.
9 December – The Australian Dollar is floated, by Federal Treasurer Paul Keating. 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.
11 May – VFL Board accepts the findings of the McKinsey Report in principle, suggesting major changes to league administration including the establishment of an independent commission.
12 June – John Stanley wins the men's national marathon title, clocking 2:17:04 in Sydney, while Megan Sloane claims the women's title in 2:37:50.
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.
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