As clocks ticked over from 1999 to 2000, the world held its collective breath amid dire millennium predictions about the end of civilisation.
As it turned out, the much-hyped 'Y2K bug', or 'millennium bug', was a total dud.
Had it been otherwise, the man initially guiding the nation would have been then-deputy prime minister John Anderson, who played understudy to John Howard who was on holidays, as of midnight January 1, 2000.
"I awoke in fear and trembling," Mr Anderson said during the release of cabinet documents from 2000 at the National Archives of Australia.
"I was due to fly to Canberra. With all the stories going around - would the plane get there, would it crash because something had gone wrong?
"It was a complete fizzer. Nothing happened. It was almost as quiet as the day after the introduction of the GST. There were follow ups to the GST. It wasn't all smooth sailing. Y2K was forgotten."
Y2K was the potential computer glitch which stemmed from the days of computing when date-year formats were abbreviated in two digits.
What would happen when clocks on computers ticked over from 99 to 00?
There were predictions of mayhem, with unknown consequences for banking, welfare payments, utilities, finance, health, defence and everything else.
Of course, nothing happened. The outcome has been attributed to vast sums of money directed to remediation measures and also the prospect that nothing would have happened anyway.
Cabinet documents for 2000 - released by the National Archives of Australia - show John Howard's coalition government settled in its second term following the near-death experience at the 1998 election and focused mostly on domestic issues.
For Australia, there were two big events in 2000 - the start of the GST on July 1 and the Sydney Olympics in September.
The introduction of the GST remains one of Australia's significant economic reforms, a measure decades in the making for which the government sought a mandate at the 1998 election and after just winning, began planning its introduction.
"The last time we had a full-blooded and real debate about important issues in Australia, in the minds of the Australian people was in fact the GST," Mr Anderson said.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics, also years in the making, proved a stunning success, proceeding without incident and with Australia attaining a record 58 medals.
There were other events, for which the government had not planned.
In February, it emerged that 57 residents at a Melbourne aged care home had been given baths in diluted kerosene to cure a suspected outbreak of scabies.
Some suffered skin blistering and Labor alleged one later died.
The scandal landed on the shoulders of Aged Care Minister Bronwyn Bishop and highlighted the poor state of the aged care sector and the need for more rigorous supervision.
Through 1999 and continuing in 2000, wooden boats laden with asylum seekers began arriving in Australian waters in growing numbers.
The passengers came mostly from the Middle East, escaping harsh regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most began their sea journey to Australia in Indonesia. Eighty-six boats carrying 3721 passengers arrived in 1999, 51 with 2939 passengers in 2000 and 43 with 5516 in 2001.
Initially, the government wasn't too concerned but that changed as the growing numbers challenged the ability of immigration officials to conduct proper and timely assessment.
Delays produced frustration, resulting in unrest in three mainland detention centres, plus some mass breakouts.
The government proposed some draconian measures, including strip searches of inmates, in a bid to deal with the problem.
Officials warned that Australia was approaching the limit of what was acceptable in terms of international human rights.
The situation was to take a controversial turn in 2001.