2020 is about a month away so it’s the perfect time to reflect on the last decade. 2010 to 2019 has been full of tragedies and triumph and now more than ever, social media is playing a central role in all our lives.
- What would become the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 was caused by a chain reaction of natural disasters. First, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11th, 2011. It was the fourth most powerful earthquake since 1900 and triggered a tsunami, with waves reaching 40 metres in height. Sadly, 15,897 people lost their lives. Despite efforts from nuclear plant workers what followed was hydrogen explosions, reactor meltdowns and fear of widespread radiation exposure.
- The movement seems to have shaped the last few years in both pop culture and news. Although the term Me Too was initially coined in 2006, it wasn’t until 2017 when Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was exposed for his repeated harassment and in some cases, abuse of actresses that the movement really gained momentum. In total over 80 women made allegations against Weinstein and in 2018 he was charged with multiple offences and released on bail. But perhaps the biggest impact #MeToo has been the changing attitudes towards cultural norms in places like India, China and the US.
Royal Weddings Everywhere!
- It’s been a decade full of Windsor weddings, starting with Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. When the future king married long time girlfriend it was estimated around 300 million people tuned in to watch. Then, in May 2018, it was Prince Harry’s turn to marry. The fanfare over Harry marrying an American actress caused controversy, rumours and speculation over their relationship. It’s likely all of that will continue in the next decade.
- While Ancient Roman Emperors were free to marry someone of the same sex, 21st century Australia still needed convincing. It took a postal vote for the Australian Government to listen to what the public had been saying for a long time. Finally, in December 2017 same sex marriage laws were passed in Australia, 61.6% of voters were in favour of the change.
Obama to Trump
- While here in Australia there has been more political spills and changing Prime Ministers than anyone can really keep track, America has gone from having the first African-American President to having a billionaire reality TV star for a President. It’s been a bumpy decade for the US indeed.
MH370 and MH17
- In 2014 there was only one thing people could talk about, Malaysian Airline flights. In March, MH370 disappeared on route from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing, although it’s never been recovered, it’s presumed the 239 people on board died. Just four months later, another Malaysian Airlines flight met with tragedy, this time the plane was shot down over a war torn area of Ukraine by Pro-Russian soldiers, 27 Australians were on board.
Lindt Café Siege
- Australians watched in horror on December 15 and 16th as a lone gunman held 18 people hostage at a cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. Two hostages were sadly killed, one by the gunman and another from bullets fired by police. Questions were raised in the aftermath as to whether or not police intervened soon enough, there was also an increase in hostility towards Muslim Australians which then ignited the #illridewithyou campaign.