Australian Games - the Games


Melbourne hosted the Olympic Games in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Both Games contributed to Australia’s role in the Olympic movement and the development of Australia’s international identity.

Getting the Games

Becoming the successful host city has specific process and criteria. Explore more.


Preparations and infrastructure for Olympic Games have become more demanding on host cities since 1956. Explore the preparations of the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Emblems and symbols

The modern Olympics have a number of traditions which include the unique emblems, mascots, symbols and memorabilia and protocols. Investigate the Olympic posters.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games symbolises the principles of Olympism. Investigate how the Opening Ceremonies reflect the host city and explore the unique features of the Melbourne 1956 closing ceremony.

The role of the media

The Olympic Games a mega sporting event with international appeal. It is also an opportunity to introduce new technology.

The Hungary-Russia Issue

The Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 had a number of impacts on the Melbourne Olympic Games. Explore the issues and an Australian perspective.

Looking Back - Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Investigate facts and details which identify the legacy and some similarities and differences of these Olympic Games 44 years apart.

1956 Melbourne Olympics

2000 Sydney Olympics


Learners have the opportunity to:

  • Investigate Melbourne and Sydney’s preparations for the Olympic Games in the context of their times.
  • Investigate the meaning of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  • Examine the role of television and other media at the Games.
  • Investigate the Hungary-Russia Issue at the Melbourne Olympic Games of 1956 with an Australian perspective.
  • Identify and describe aspects of the Olympic legacy for Melbourne and Sydney.


Overview podcast 1956 Melbourne (12 min 40 sec)
This Irish sports audio podcast is part of a series on the events of the Olympics. It includes athlete interviews and audio from the key Olympic events interspersed with the music of the times and world events.


Cuthbert and Mathews in 200m final