The biggest cyclone that year was Alistair.

In August the MV Tampa, a Norwegian freighter, rescued 438 asylum seekers in international waters off Australia. The Howard Government refused permission for the freighter to enter Australian waters, thus triggering a huge controversy, difficult to explain to Spanish speaking readers and I guess to anyone else. That month Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, visited Australia.
In the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks, the US led a military intervention and Australia was, of course, one of the first countries to support it by sending troops.
In November, John Howard, was re-elected Australian Prime Minister, for the third time.

Bushfires burned continuously for three weeks in NSW and Victoria over Christmas. My cousin Manuel came to visit, and after his long flight from Spain I kept him waiting for me in the airport car park while I was doing live radio reports. Of course, once at home, I forgot to pay the Citylink toll.

I think the following  series of articles about the Tampa affair and Afghan refugees was the first I published in La Vanguardia,  I first used my real name. Later, as suggested by Agencia Efe, I would sign with pen-name Hèctor Brau. (Open pdf in a new window on image click)

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