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Looking Back On a Decade

By Shannan Dower, Nicola Rakuljic, and Laura Neilson

As we approach the end of 2019 and the beginning of a new decade with 2020, no doubt we are all feeling nostalgic for this last decade, and maybe a little bit hesitant for the upcoming one. In the next few weeks, let’s make the most of this decade by getting together with our friends and family and thinking back on all the things that happened this decade. The weird, the wonderful, the crazy.


Let’s start with 2010, the beginning of this roller coaster of a decade. The iPad was released this year, along with the iPhone 4. Ke$ha’s song ‘Tik Tok’ was the number one song of the year, and the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was released, although Toy Story 3 was the top grossing film of the year. The first episode of Good Luck Charlie was aired on Disney Channel. Yes, it’s been that long. If you’re into Doctor Who, you’d remember 2010 to be the year we got the 11th Doctor in Matt Smith.

In political news, Julia Gillard challenged Kevin Rudd and became the Prime Minister of Australia, the first female to do so.

Also, did you know that (most of) the Year 7’s coming to Loreto in 2023 were born this year?


2011 or just a massive 8 years ago, marks the most important year as One Direction released their first studio album setting them in the stars as one of the most popular bands of the decade. According to the UN, the world population hit 7 billion but that’s not so important, in comparison, honestly. Game of Thrones’ also premiered this year and everyone became addicted. Rebecca Black scarred everyone with ‘Friday’ (who needs ears anyways?), but the number one song of the year will still be played and sung along to as it was Adele’s classic ‘Rolling in the Deep’. Nick Jonas still had his purity ring and planking was a thing, really?

Although this year was also marked by tragedy. In March, an undersea earthquake of 9.0 magnitude struck Japan, causing a tsunami and sparking the second worst nuclear accident in history. Most people would know about it by simply mentioning ‘Fukushima’.


In 2012, the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars, and its original two-year mission was extended indefinitely. Marvel’s movie The Avengers was released, which reached 3rd on the list of highest grossing movies, and eventually dropped to 8th as of this year. Nick Jonas lost his purity ring and never found it. The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II took place, celebrating the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen was number one on the ARIA Top 100 Singles of 2012, with Gangnam Style by Psy coming in second.

What else happened in 2012? Well, the world supposedly ended. For those of you who don’t know, one of the great cycles of the Mayan Calendar came to an end on the 21 December 2012, leading many people to believe that the world would end or an apocalypse would happen on that day. This was also the year that Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban at the age of 15 because she was advocating for girl’s education in Pakistan.


Frozen happened. Need I say more? “Twerk”, “derp” and “selfie” were added to the Dictionary and “selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. Music wise, we had the unprecedented re-emergence of the ‘Harlem Shake’ and ‘What Did the Fox Say’ rose to popularity, and Miley Cyrus’ Disney rebound single, ‘Wrecking Ball’ topped the Billboard music charts. 2013 had some notable births, with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge welcoming Prince George into the world, but more importantly: North West was born to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Pope Francis was elected as the successor of Pope Benedict XVI. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first from Latin America (and the Southern Hemisphere as a whole) and the first from outside of Europe since the 8th century. In Australia, we had Kevin Rudd as prime minister for a solid term of 83 days, followed by Tony Abbott who won the election.


This year, the ice bucket challenge went viral, raising awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease, and encouraging donations to research. Many celebrities took part in this challenge, and this challenge raised over $220 million worldwide. Jimmy Fallon became the host of The Tonight Show, and Shia LaBeouf wore a paper bag on his head to the red carpet. Notable movies that came out this year are Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, Divergent, and Maleficent. Emma Watson delivered her HeForShe speech at the UN, which aimed to get boys and men to join the fight for gender equality.

This year was also the year that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact and disappeared, and even 5 years later it is still unknown what happened to those on the flight. Phillip Hughes died this year from a blow to the back of his neck by a cricket ball, the first of its kind which is incredibly scary. His was the first death like it, and hopefully the last.


Adele’s back, with another classic we won’t soon forget, ‘Hello’, along with Pixar’s massive film, ‘Inside Out’. Disney also released Star Wars Episode VII with a female lead and more diversity than ever. Other memorable releases for the year include, ‘Undertale’, an indie game (Sans memes, anyone?) and ‘Hamilton’ a musical that exposed the world to the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Pop culture was thriving, honestly. There was another royal birth, with Princess Charlotte being welcomed into the world. The Pope released ‘Laudato Si’, calling the world to swift action to better protect our planet.

The ‘dress’ debate happened, and there hasn’t been anything as divisive ever since. Well, except maybe Donald Trump as President. 2015 was the year he launched his presidential campaign. In other political news, Malcom Turnbull became Prime Minister of Australia, and China relinquished their One Child policy, which had been in place for 35 years.


In 2016, Donald Trump ran for Presidency in America. He promised to “make America great again”, a well known catchphrase now, and to build a wall between America and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. However, no new wall has been built yet. The United Kingdom this year also had a referendum on whether to leave the European Union (EU) or not. 51.9% of votes were in favour of leaving the EU, and this leave has been dubbed as “Brexit”. However, the deadline for leaving the EU has been pushed back 3 times, and is currently the 31 January 2020, because the UK Parliament kept voting against the negotiated withdrawal agreements.

In terms of pop culture, the Mannequin challenge went viral in 2016, Kermit became a meme (both him sipping tea, and facing dark Kermit), Arthur making a fist also became a meme, and the app Pokémon GO! came out. Beyoncé released her album Lemonade, Love Yourself by Justin Bieber was number 1 on Billboard’s Top 100, and Zayn left One Direction. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them both came out this year, along with other movies like Captain America: Civil War, La La Land, and Moonlight. Stranger Things also came out this year (it’s been 3 years, how crazy is that?) Remember Lin-Manuel Miranda? He helped on Moana which was released this year. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar!

2016 was also the year in which many pop culture icons passed away: David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder. The list keeps going.


Did you know that Fortnite was released in 2017? Because I didn’t. I genuinely thought it was released last year or something, but no, it was released 2 years ago. This was also the year that fidget spinners became popular, and the memes started picking up in earnest, with Salt bae and the Floor is Lava challenge. On the topic of movies, these ones were released in 2017: Wonder Woman, It, The Greatest Showman, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, Dunkirk, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, and so much more.

Donald Trump had his inauguration and became President of the United States of America, although more people turned up to the Women’s March the day after. Israeli scientists announced a new treatment for ALS, which the ice bucket challenge in 2014 helped raise money for the research. Australia legalised same-sex marriage after the postal survey came back with 61.6% of respondents voting yes to legalising same-sex marriage. Malala Yousafzai started university at Oxford, 5 years after she was shot by the Taliban because she was an advocate for girl’s education.


Ah, 2018. The year of memes. There was the whole debate of Yanny v Laurel, there was the Walmart yodelling kid (who got a spot at Coachella, a record deal with Atlantic Records AND a debut single), there was the off ramp meme (you can see an example of this meme when you’re going up the stairs past the teacher’s offices to the ‘teen’ rooms of 14-18), the change my mind meme, gru’s plan memes, and so much more. was rebranded to TikTok, the app that practically everyone is obsessed with right now.

So many good movies were released last year: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse, Avengers: Infinity War, A Star is Born, Crazy Rich Asians, and so much more! The World Cup was held in Russia, and England was so excited to be getting close to the finals, but were beaten by Croatia, who were then beaten by France in the finals. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married in May.

In terms of Australian politics, this one was a doozy. The leadership challenge started with Peter Dutton being the initial challenger, and with Scott Morrison coming out of it as Australia’s 30th Prime Minister.

The worst first season devastated California, and two hurricanes hit America: hurricane Florence and hurricane Michael. Sadly, Stan Lee passed away this year, along with singer Avicii.


And we’re now at 2019, this year, which I’m sure we can all remember, but if you can’t here’s the recap.

We now have the first ever picture of a black hole, and while it may be blurry, it’s majestic.

And now, our segment on things that burned this year: the Amazon rainforest, the Notre Dame cathedral and pretty much all of New South Wales.

It’s not even Summer yet, and we are burning. If you didn’t believe in climate change before, do you believe it now? Well, Greta Thunberg does, and addressed the UN at just sixteen, delivering a powerful message about our stance on the issue.

Climate change wasn’t the only issue we had to face, with the shootings in Christchurch being a bleak day, especially since it was live streamed and the shooter was Australian.

Then we had ‘Egg Boy’ break an egg on Senator Fraser Annings’ head after he made racist comments and blamed the victims. Whilst this wasn’t the right way to spark action and cannot be condoned, the teenager spun the publicity to raise money for the victims in Christchurch.

Perhaps the biggest meme of the year, the raid on Area 51 was iconic. And people actually showed up, a truly monumental occasion for humanity. Lil Nas X released ‘Old Town Road’, and everyone fell in love with Billie Eilish. TikTok dances took over this year, along with other memes such as 30-50 feral hogs, the Bird Box challenge, the bottle cap challenge, and who can forget Adele’s Someone Like You with gummy bears and/or other objects to make a crowd? Wow, these memes are getting more and more complex, huh. Though, ‘ok boomer’ is rather simple.

There were so many movies that came out this year, and still a few more to come in December, but here’s a list of a few in case you forgot: Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, Avengers: Endgame, Joker, and Rocketman. We also got the Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer, which had to be re-animated after everyone online was distraught over Sonic having teeth and looking just a little bit too human.

2020, and beyond:

Maybe we’ve dredged up a memory you thought long since lost, or brought you on a nostalgia trip you weren’t ready to deal with (we’re sure not). But what’s going to happen in 2020, and then beyond that? Well, the next Presidential election will occur in the United States, and we’ll see if Donald Trump is reelected for a second term. Otherwise, the planet is probably going to continue going downhill because of climate change. Hopefully we’ll get some new memes that’ll make school and the endless tests and assignments more bearable. This time next year, us current Year 11/12’s will have graduated and finished our HSC, leaving the mantle of leadership to the current Year 10s.

But we’re not there yet. So enjoy the rest of this year, and enjoy next year too, because it really does go by in a flash.


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