Records 1983

Fifth anniversary of NT self-government

On 18 January 1983, Cabinet considered a submission to approve the formalities and celebrations associated with the fifth anniversary of Self-Government in the Northern Territory (NT), to be held on Friday, 1 July 1983.

In the lead up, a nine person committee, including representatives of the Tourist Commission, defence services, Arts Council, Darwin City Council, media and private citizens met twice to consider options. 

Proposals submitted by centres outside of Darwin were also considered.

As a result, Cabinet endorsed a broad range of proposals including:

  • a Festival Coordinator to facilitate arrangements for activities associated with Self-Government celebrations on a Territory-wide basis
  • a wide-reaching media program covering such activities as advertising, public relations and the formal and informal proceedings associated with Self-Government be devised and implemented within the Territory and nationally
  • all main Territory centres be encouraged to hold a flag raising ceremony followed by a social gathering
  • where appropriate, all disembarking airline passengers within the Territory on 1 July 1983 to receive a gift pack and momento recognising the anniversary of Self-Government
  • the Department of Education to involve school children in relevant assignments including poster competitions, special outback radio and school of the air programs
  • a pop concert
  • through the NT Racing and Gaming Commission, a ‘monster’ lottery to be devised and implemented with the winning ticket being drawn on 1 July 1983, with the profits from the lottery to offset the cost of the celebrations
  • the words and music of a Territory-wide theme song be commissioned for use on both television and radio
  • suitably designed stick-on labels incorporating the NT Flag to be widely distributed
  • the booklet "Northern Territory 1983 – 5 Years of Self-Government" to be distributed
  • issue a compendium and silver medallion to all school children
  • invitations to visit Darwin on 1 July 1983 be extended to the Governor-General, and/or the Prime Minister and/or relevant Federal Ministers
  • Darwin celebrations to include such things as a Mardi Gras with ethnic dancing, the North East Arnhem Land dancers and the combined schools choir 
  • evening festivities should include a gala ball and a fireworks display from a floating pontoon in the harbour
  • approach the Royal Australian Air Force to make available the No. 75 Mirage Squadron for a fly past, and approach the Royal Australian Navy to provide a ship for ceremonial gun salute duties within Darwin Harbour
  • a hot air balloon race to Darwin with the assistance of the Australian Ballooning Federation
  • official launching of the Katherine Botanical Gardens
  • Community Awareness Week in Jabiru and a competition for the design of a town crest
  • an open town ceremony in Nhulunbuy
  • official opening of stage 1 of the Civic Centre complex in Tennant Creek
  • possible ceremony in Alice Springs for the commencement of construction of Alice Springs to Darwin railway.

Cabinet also endorsed the adoption of the proposed logo and its use should be encouraged as widely as possible, for example on Paul’s milk cartons.

Read the Cabinet decision - submission number 2320 and decision number 2741 of 18 January 1983 PDF (1.7 MB).

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Last updated: 14 April 2021

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