Home » 2022 Year in Review: Rewind through the highs and lows of the year

2022 Year in Review: Rewind through the highs and lows of the year

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From the war in Ukraine to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Anthony Albanese's election victory to Will Smith's Oscar slap, it's been an unforgettable year.

Here are the moments that shaped 2022:

What happened in 2022 in politics?

Scott Morrison was ousted as prime minister and Anthony Albanese installed, as Labor came to power.Debate over when the federal election would be called was in the air until early April, when Mr Morrison fired the starting gun.In the six weeks that followed, Australians considered who to elect as candidates campaigned across the country.

Mr Albanese couldn’t name Australia's unemployment rate on the first day of the election campaign, and Scott Morrison’s “bulldozer” moment was captured on camera after he accidentally knocked over a child playing soccer on the campaign trail in Tasmania.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison accidentally knocking over a child on a football field during the day in Tasmania's Devonport. Prime Minister Scott Morrison accidentally knocking over a child on a football field during the day in Tasmania's Devonport.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison crash tackles a child at the Devonport Strikers Soccer Ground on Day 38 of the 2022 federal election campaign, in Devonport, in Tasmania. Source: AAP / Mick Tsikas

The federal election also resulted in a teal "wave" that opened the door for independent candidates to enter parliament, significantly from traditionally Liberal electorates. Mr Albanese was sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister, becoming the first-ever prime minister without an Anglo-Celtic surname.

Labor’s victory also resulted in a life-altering decision for the Nadesalingam family. In June, the family returned to Biloela after spending four years in immigration detention.

The Tamil family’s experience became one of the most high-profile asylum seeker cases in the country, and the family was granted permanent residency under the Labor government.In a continuous sweep of change, Australia also swore in its most diverse parliament, with more women, , and more Indigenous Australians in parliament.

What happened in 2022 in sports?

Australia started 2022 in the throes of the omicron variant outbreak, which resulted in record-high COVID cases and restrictions across the country.Residents in Melbourne, having gone through the in 2021, saw continuing restrictions.

Among the most high-profile cases was the visa trouble for tennis star Novak Djokovic, who, after landing in Melbourne on 5 January to compete in the Australian Open, was placed in immigration detention.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic departs from the Park Hotel government detention facility.Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic departs from the Park Hotel government detention facility.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic temporarily stayed at Park Hotel after his visa debacle before the 2022 Australian Open. Source: AAP / James Ross

A Federal Court then ruled the former world number-one be deported for not meeting Australia’s vaccination requirements and hit him with a three-year ban from entering the country. The ban was later overturned.In March, Australian cricket fans were shocked by the death of cricket legend Shane Warne, who died aged 52 in a Thailand hotel from a suspected heart attack.

Thousands gathered to honour the sporting great in a state memorial service at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where his children - Brooke, Jackson, and Summer - also unveiled a stand in his remembrance.

Summer, Brooke and Jackson Warne, Shane Warne's daughters and son, unveiled the Shane Warne Stand during the State Memorial Service at the MCG in Melbourne.Summer, Brooke and Jackson Warne, Shane Warne's daughters and son, unveiled the Shane Warne Stand during the State Memorial Service at the MCG in Melbourne.

Summer, Brooke and Jackson Warne, Shane Warne's daughters and son, unveiled the Shane Warne Stand during the State Memorial Service at the MCG in Melbourne. Credit: AAP Image/Joel Carrett & AAP Image/James Ross

November marked the beginning of the biggest sporting event of the year: the 2022 FIFA World Cup.Host nation Qatar’s human rights record came under scrutiny, including its treatment of migrant workers, women, and the LGBTIQ+ community.

Argentina won the World Cup, beating France in a nail-biting final, and cementing Lionel Messi 's status as the GOAT (greatest of all time).

Argentina captain Lionel Messi (C midground), teammates and fans celebrate with the trophy after the trophy ceremony for the 2022 FIFA World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Iconic Stadium. Argentina won 3-3 (4-2) in a penalty shootout. Argentina captain Lionel Messi (C midground), teammates and fans celebrate with the trophy after the trophy ceremony for the 2022 FIFA World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Iconic Stadium. Argentina won 3-3 (4-2) in a penalty shootout.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi (midground), teammates and fans celebrate with the trophy after the trophy ceremony for the 2022 FIFA World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Iconic Stadium. Argentina won 3-3 (4-2) in a penalty shootout. Credit: TASS/Sipa USA

What happened in 2022 in Australia?

It felt like it was non-stop rain in parts of the country, as Australia faced its second consecutive La Niña season.In February, one of the biggest floods in Australian modern history inundated the New South Wales town of Lismore, displacing hundreds of residents.The weather event happened again four weeks later in Lismore, and continued across the country as major flooding hit parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and parts of Queensland throughout 2022.
This young male kangaroo was found covered in mud and caught in a fence after escaping floodwaters at Kialla, Victoria.This young male kangaroo was found covered in mud and caught in a fence after escaping floodwaters at Kialla, Victoria.

This young male kangaroo was found covered in mud and caught in a fence after escaping floodwaters at Kialla, Victoria. Source: Supplied / Kirsty Ramadan

A man canoeing along flood waters.A man canoeing along flood waters.

A man is canoeing along flood waters in Maribyrnong. Source: AAP / James Ross

In October, thousands attended vigils and rallies across Australia to pay tribute to Noongar teenager Cassius Turvey who was attacked by white men while walking home from school in Western Australia.

The 15-year-old boy died ten days later in an induced coma after sustaining serious injuries and was farewelled across the country.

Aboriginal youths in Brisbane hold a sign reading 'Blak kids matter'. Aboriginal youths in Brisbane hold a sign reading 'Blak kids matter'.

People attend a vigil at King George Square in Brisbane to mourn the death of Cassius Turvey. Source: AAP / Darren England

In December, crown prosecutors dropped charges against Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of former Liberal party staffer Brittany Higgins in Parliament House after a mistrial in the case and over concerns for Ms Higgins's welfare.

What happened in 2022 across the world?

The early hours of 24 February brought the first news of 2022’s biggest conflict: the Russo-Ukraine War.The world watched as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Ukraine in what he described as a "special military operation".

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy became a household name, donning his army greens to defend his country and show the world life and devastation in his war-torn country.

President Zelenskyy smiling in Kherson, surrounded by Ukrainian soldiersPresident Zelenskyy smiling in Kherson, surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers

President Zelenskyy visited Kherson for the first time after the withdrawal of Russian troops. Source: Getty / Narciso Contreras

Over the course of the year, more than seven million people fled Ukraine as missile strikes destroyed homes and critical infrastructure, and evidence of war crimes were revealed.
In the entertainment world, Hollywood star Will Smith's infamous slap of comedian Chris Rock on live television shocked viewers watching the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

Smith was then banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years.

A still of Will Smith after hitting comedian and presenter Chris Rock on stage at Oscars. A still of Will Smith after hitting comedian and presenter Chris Rock on stage at Oscars.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars in March. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Staying in the United States, the US Supreme Court controversially overturned Roe v Wade in June, resulting in the constitutional right to abortion being removed.

America was left a country divided as some states pushed against the abortion bans, while others welcomed the ruling.

Protestors holding signs reading 'protect Roe' and 'protect safe, legal abortion' at a rally during the day in the US.  Protestors holding signs reading 'protect Roe' and 'protect safe, legal abortion' at a rally during the day in the US.

Protesters outside of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. in May 2019, to show their opposition to the recent abortion ban implemented by several states. Source: SIPA USA / CNP/PA/Alamy

In July, political turmoil dominated international headlines.In the UK, Boris Johnson resigned as the Prime Minister after dozens of ministers deserted his scandal-hit government.

He was then replaced by Liz Truss for a total of 44 days before Rishi Sunak took the reins, becoming the UK’s first Prime Minister of colour.

Rishi Sunak in a suit holding a red briefcase. Rishi Sunak in a suit holding a red briefcase.

Rishi Sunak is the UK's fifth prime minister in six years. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In Sri Lanka, political instability ensued as the country grappled with protests, blackouts, and a deepening economic crisis.Protesters set fire to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s house and even had a pool party in former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s mansion, who fled the country to avoid the unrest.

Then came Britain’s biggest news of the year. On 8th September, Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch died aged 96.

Queen Elizabeth II deathQueen Elizabeth II death

People gather outside the gates of the Buckingham Palace in London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday, 8 September 2022. Source: AAP / PA

Hundreds of thousands paid their respects to the British Queen, with some even waiting more than to see her lying-in-state before the funeral.Her oldest son, King Charles III, ascended to the throne, and also became Australia’s new head of state.September was also significant for Iran. The country faced an uproar of civil unrest over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in custody after allegedly breaching the Islamic dress code.

People around the world stood in solidarity as Iranians protested the authoritarian religious regime by burning hijabs, cutting their hair, and pushing back against political violence.

Protesters hold placards and chant slogans outside the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey during a demonstration.Protesters hold placards and chant slogans outside the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey during a demonstration.

Protesters hold placards and chant slogans outside the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey during a demonstration. Source: AAP / Sipa USA

This continued throughout the year, with protesters facing arrests and even executions adding to the turmoil.In the biggest tech news of the year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk acquired Twitter at a hefty cost of $44 billion in October.What followed were mass lay-offs, paid blue ticks, and the reinstatement of previously banned accounts like Donald Trump’s.

In December, Musk asked if he should step down as the CEO of Twitter via a poll on the social media site. Most users voted yes, and Musk is now on the hunt for a replacement CEO to potentially take the reins in 2023.

This year also saw an unprecedented wave of civil disobedience erupt across China’s tough COVID-19 measures.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across the country, frustrated against President Xi Jinping's signature zero-COVID policy.

A man holding a candle and wearing a mask attending a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in China during the evening. Surrounding him are other protesters also wearing masks, holding up blank papers. A man holding a candle and wearing a mask attending a protest against COVID-19 restrictions in China during the evening. Surrounding him are other protesters also wearing masks, holding up blank papers.

Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they march in protest against strict anti-virus measures in Beijing. Source: AP / Ng Han Guan

In the end, the Chinese government relaxed the strict measures, with reports of lifted lockdowns and a reduction in mass testing.
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