The 16th-century French philosopher and supposed psychic predicted that 2023 would see famine, war, the destruction of Buckingham Palace, and the rise of the Antichrist. So, just a regular year then.
As the dust settles on the year that was 2022, we’re now into the strange new territory of 2023. If last year was anything to go by, 2023 is going to be just as mad, bad, and packed with surprises.
If you’re just getting your head around the concept of having to write a three at the end of the date, you’ll want to get up to speed on exactly what this year has on offer for us. So, although there’s bound to be a whole bunch of strange and unpredictable stuff happening in 2023, here’s what will definitely be happening.
The End of La Nina
Starting off the year as we mean to proceed, the Bureau of Meteorology has said that the wet gloom hanging over us will weaken and disappear over the coming months. If the heat we’ve been getting over the past few weeks has been anything to go by, this one is looking increasingly likely.
The 2023 Golden Globes will kick off on Wednesday, January 11 Australia time. The cinema awards show has already courted controversy by failing to nominate a single female director for their ‘best motion picture’ category. Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Tár, and, Top Gun: Maverick has taken out the top slots.
The Australian Open
The annual Aussie Grand Slam is back once again, this time without tennis superstar Roger Federer who recently announced his retirement. The comp will be held, as always, at Melbourne Park, and runs from January 16 to 29. Our top contenders this year are
‘Australia Day’, Invasion Day, The Day of Mourning, Survival Day: whatever you call it, January 26th is rolling around yet again and this year is set to be no less controversial than previous years. Australia will get a public holiday but, increasingly, people are choosing to work on that date. Others are choosing to use it to educate, inform, and experience for themselves the oldest continuous culture on the planet. Still, others will just be glad for the day off, whatever the reason.
The 63rd annual Grammy Awards for music will be held on February 6 Australia time this year and will be hosted, for the third year running, by comedian Trevor Noah. It’s billed as the biggest night in music and this year’s nominees are led by Kendrick Lamar, Bad Bunny, Adele, Harry Styles, Lizzo, and Beyoncé
World Pride 2023
The Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the biggest queer celebrations on the planet and, this year, will play host to the global World Pride festival. There are over 300 events underway from February 17 to March 5 that promise something for everyone and a serious sprinkling of (eco-friendly) glitter. If you can’t make it to the Harbour City, you’ll be able to catch many of them on the ABC.
First Anniversary of the War in Ukraine
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 20 2022 and, in just a few months’ time, the Ukrainian people will have been under attack for a full year. Whether or not 2023 will be the year that the war finally wraps up remains to be seen. It’s unlikely that Vladimir Putin will simply up stumps and walk away from this conflict, so we could see increased pressure, support, and training from the West in getting the Russian leader to back down. Equally, we could see China play a decisive role in choosing to distance itself from its ally, something that could have a real impact on the outcome of the conflict.
Indigenous Voice to Parliament
The Indigenous Voice to Parliament is a landmark piece of legislation that will give Indigenous people greater representation in our constitution and governance. Australia is one of the only countries in the world not to have a treaty with its Indigenous population and The Voice could go some way to correcting this. The campaign is set to officially kick off at the end of February, with legislation for a referendum set up in March and a vote as early as August of this year.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day will be hitting us on March 8 this year with the theme for 2023 being ‘Embrace Equity’. This year will be all about challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias, and seeking out inclusion. Allies are being highlighted this year with a focus on how those in power can boost the social, economic, and cultural advancement of women.
Saturday, March 12 will see the 95th Academy Awards dishing out little golden statues to movie stars. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is back once again to host the event and, although the nominations have yet to be announced, the hot favourites for best picture this year include Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, and Everything Everywhere All at Once.
NSW State Election
Voters in New South Wales will get the chance to vote on the performance of the reigning Liberal-National Coalition government at the state election on March 25. Following the dismal performance of the party at the federal election in May of 2022, the Coalition is said to be fearful of a repeat at the state level. Current polling has the Labor Party ahead by 4% on voting intention, but we’re still a long way off from knowing for sure what will happen.
MDMA Could Be Legalised to Treat PTSD in America
Psychedelic therapy has been ramping up in a big way over the last few years and 2023 could be the year that an otherwise illicit drug could be legitimised for use in mental health treatment. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is expected to submit data from its second Phase 3 clinical trial on the use of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America at the end of March. If the FDA reviews the data and deems it valid, it could federally schedule the drug for the treatment of PTSD.
India to Become World’s Most Populous Country
The world’s population surpassed 8 billion in 2022 and the United Nations are guessing that India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country on April 14 of this year. This shift would upset a global trend that has lasted for hundreds of years when India hits 1.4 billion on that date.
King Charles’ Coronation
Old sausage fingers will have a sparkly hat placed upon his head at Westminster Abbey on May 6 this year where the King will be anointed, blessed, and consecrated. His wife, Camilla, will be sworn in as Queen Consort on that date as well.
The coronation is expected to be a much more paired-back affair than we’ve seen previously to reflect the difficult times the UK is going through. It’s also going to be more open and welcoming to people of other faiths. Whether or not Camilla will wear the crown containing the controversial Koh-I-Noor diamond remains to be seen.
Although Sydney is hosting World Pride this year, Eurovision will be giving the event a run for its money as the campest date in the calendar. This year, Eurovision will be held in Liverpool, UK, on May 13 despite the fact that Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the competition in 2022. This is because of the ongoing war in the country and the fact that the UK has been one of the strongest supporters of the embattled nation during the conflict.
This year, SBS has said it will select the Eurovision contender for Australia, scrapping the Australia Decides vote.
Women’s FIFA World Cup
After the excitement and the success of the Socceroos at the men’s FIFA World Cup last month, Aussies are firing up for the girls to show their stuff at the women’s World Cup in July. What’s more, the competition will be held in Australia and New Zealand, meaning no more 2 am showings for those of us on the east coast. The Matildas are, arguably, our better team and Sam Kerr is expected to take the women far this year. It’s going to be a great tournament.
50th Anniversary of the Sydney Opera House
Australia’s most iconic building will be turning 50 this year, having been completed in 1973. The venue is hosting almost two weeks of celebrations and will be lit up with projections showcasing the history of the building from October 19 to 30.
US 2024 Presidential Race Kick-Off
This one will sort of be running throughout 2023 and into 2024 and, in some sense, has already begun with Donald Trump announcing his bid for candidacy back in November. However, November of this year will mark 12 months until voting gets underway for the 2024 US Presidential Election and it’s only going to get more heated as we get closer to that date.
After the somewhat limp agreements of COP27, the world is collectively hoping for a firey COP28 to halt and reverse the effects of man-made climate change. Whether or not we’ll get it will be up to the attendees of the next Conference of the Parties, set to take place in the United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 12.