1885 in Australia
Governors of the Australian colonies:
Premiers of the Australian colonies:
- 3 March – The New South Wales Contingent, consisting of an infantry battalion and an artillery battalion, leaves Sydney to fight in the Sudan Campaign.
- 28 March – HMQS Gayundah arrives in Brisbane.
- 1 April – The Cabinet of South Australia meets to discuss the "Russian scare"—the fear that South Australia would come under attack from Russian warships should hostilities between Russia and Britain over Afghanistan result in war.
- 10 August – The Broken Hill Proprietary Company (later to become the world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton) is registered as a company in Victoria.
- 4–7 October – Third Intercolonial Trades Union Congress held in Sydney.
Science and technology
Arts and literature
- 8 January – John Curtin (died 1945), Australian Prime Minister
- 29 January – Arthur Halloway (died 1961) rugby league footballer and coach
- 20 March – Vernon Ransford (died 1958), cricketer
- 1 July – Dorothea Mackellar (died 1968), poet
- 12 August – Keith Murdoch (died 1952), journalist and newspaper publisher
- 18 August – Nettie Palmer (died 1964), poet and literary critic (wife of Vance Palmer)
- 28 August – Vance Palmer (died 1959), novelist, essayist and critic (husband of Nettie Palmer)
- 22 September – Ben Chifley (died 1951), Australian Prime Minister
- 15 October – Frank Hurley (died 1962), photographer and adventurer
- 7 November – Frank Cheadle, rugby league footballer and World War I soldier (died 1916).