Queensland opened to the world by hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982, a landmark year in the State’s history.
The Maroons came from behind to win the first ever three-game State of Origin series and Mel Gibson starred in The Year of Living Dangerously.
But the juiciest legacy of 1982 was the release of the iconic North Queensland-bred R2E2 mango developed by Queensland Government scientists at the Bowen Research Facility.
Queensland Minister for Agriculture Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner is encouraging Australians to have their own celebration by eating mangoes this Christmas.
“It doesn’t feel like an Australian Christmas without eating a juicy mango,” Mr Furner said.
“Without a doubt one of the best varieties is our R2E2, which is the first Australian-bred mango variety.
“Decades ago, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries began a breeding program as imported mango varieties did not meet Australian industry and consumers’ expectations.
‘In 1982 researchers struck mouth-watering gold by crossing a Bowen and Kent mango and creating the R2E2.
‘The name R2E2 relates to the row and block number in the field in which the original tree was grown. The name stuck because of the similarity to another 80s icon, R2D2.
‘Now, 40 years later the fruit has not only become a summer staple across Australia but is popular with international exports. R2E2 has accounted for up to 70% of all mangoes exported from Australia.
“R2E2 mangos are highly sought after and generally fetch higher prices on the domestic markets than other varieties.
“The mango has gained wide acceptance throughout all mango-growing regions and is the third most popular variety grown in Australia.
“The mango’s colour, shelf life and overall quality make it well suited to export markets.
“Make sure to include them in this year’s Christmas food shopping.”