16/12/2016 10:05 AM AEDT | Updated 17/12/2016 10:51 AM AEDT

2016 Was Actually A Really Great Year -- Here's Why

There's no mention of celebrity deaths and Trump victories in this year in review.

Global tiger numbers went up in 2016.
Rex TC Wang
Global tiger numbers went up in 2016.

As 2016 comes to an end, we're all growing wearisome of the year that took away some of our favourite artists, and delivered a few political shocks. Everyone agrees it's the worst year ever.

Poor 2016. In defense of this actually great year, we're bringing you the proof that 2016 really was full of brilliant moments.

The Underdogs Won

It was a year of magical winning for Australia's battlers in 2016.

The Cronulla Sharks, the NRL team that almost folded through financial issues, finally won a premiership in their 50th season. In the AFL grand final, the Western Bulldogs upset the Sydney Swans by 22 points. It was just their second flag ever, and their first since 1954.

Overseas, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, which would have made this guy very, very happy -- not to mention the whole of Chicago. Then there was Leicester City coming from nowhere winning the English Premier League.

Most surprisingly, though, was the come-from-behind win of wallflower Kristie on Australian Survivor.

Thank you, 2016, for giving the battler fans a moment to celebrate.

Coffee Declared Safe

In good news for adults everywhere, the World Health Organisation's exhaustive research into coffee and cancer found the caffeinated brew did not have a correlation with cancer -- as long as it's not scalding hot.

If that's not a blessing from 2016 then what is?

Long-Deserved Apologies Were Given

Gay men convicted under unjust laws were given a heartfelt apology by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Here's part of his speech:

There was a time in our history when we turned thousands of ordinary young men into criminals. And it was profoundly and unimaginably wrong.


This, Speaker, is the society we built. And it would be easy to blame the courts, or the media, or the police, or the public.

It is easy for us to condemn their bigotry. But the law required them to be bigoted.


It all started here. It will end here, too.

To our knowledge, no jurisdiction in the world has ever offered a full and formal apology for laws like these.

So please, let these words rest forever in our records:

On behalf of the Parliament, the Government and the people of Victoria.

For the laws we passed.

And the lives we ruined.

And the standards we set.

We are so sorry. Humbly, deeply, sorry.

In NSW, an apology was given to 'the 78ers' who organised the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, who were treated with violence and bigotry.

In South Australia, premier Jay Weatherill also apologised to LGBTI people convicted under unjust laws.

Beyonce Made Lemonade

It's an album. It's a film. It's Beyonce at her fiercest.

Queen Bey took the trend of extended visual albums championed by Thirty Seconds To Mars, Kanye West and if we're going way back, The Beatles, to create a show-stopping, rumour-spinning artform that broke down traditional music distribution platforms by being offered on niche service Tidal.

AIDS Epidemic Declared Over In Australia

It was the indiscriminate killer of the 1980s with a devastating public health campaign, but in 2016, Australian experts declared the AIDS epidemic over.

Thanks to advances in treatment and prevention, AIDS is no longer a death sentence, instead being something you live with.

Jon Snow Is (Spoiler Alert) Alive

Like this isn't the best news in a century. We all get to gaze upon Jon Snow's stoic yet troubled features for another season on Game of Thrones.

Now we know there's more to his backstory, and there are reports the final season brings he and Daenerys Targaryen into each other's lives.

We're excited.

World's Largest Marine Reserve Declared

The Antarctic Ocean is now home to the World's Largest Marine Reserve. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources made the announcement this year in Hobart, ensuring whales, penguins and fish have a fishing-free sanctuary to reside in.

Brazil's Olympics Didn't Suck

Despite genuine fears, not one Olympian contracted Zika Virus at the Olympics this year. Not one. And aside from a slightly green diving pool, nothing seriously broke down. There were no acts of terrorism, and while a few people got robbed and the runs, it was all-in-all a seriously impressive Olympic Games.

It also introduced the world to one of our most-loved athletes of all time -- Fu Yuanhui, who warmed our hearts with her enthusiasm and incredibly open attitude towards menstruation.

Medical Marijuana Found A Way

NSW and Victoria are trialing 'compassionate access' for people undergoing chemotherapy and for some forms of epilepsy.

The hope is to fast-track programs for people who need marijuana to stop potentially deadly seizures and to help with pain management. It's the first time in Australia marijuana is being grown for medicinal purposes.

Gilmore Girls Returned

It's been a long wait for everyone's favourite mother-daughter duo to come back to us, and while the Gilmore Girls plot was controversial (hello valedictorian who can't get a job), one thing remained -- their love of coffee and fast food.

I think we can all get behind that.

No Leadership Spills

After a particularly dramatic cycle of leaders, Australians began to wonder -- are we ungovernable? Do our predominantly convict origins lay latent in our bones, just waiting to rebel against our leaders? We had Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Rudd again, Tony Abbott then Malcolm Turnbull, but this year, we've stuck with the one leader for what feels like a record amount of time.

High five for us being a big-boy country.

Discovering The My Dad Wrote A Porno Podcast

File this one under 'erotica', 'lesbianism' and 'business and leadership'. This podcast is the brave musings of a man whose dad wrote a terrible pornographic novel. Along with his two best friends, he reads the hilariously smutty story of Belinda, the saucy pots and pans saleswoman.

We guarantee it will give you some laugh-out-loud moments, just make sure your earphone jack doesn't dislodge while you're in public, lest the world hears the bit about the duchess, or worse, the maze.

The Ozone Layer Is Repairing Itself

For the first time since the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, the hole in the ozone above Antarctica got smaller in 2016. This is because the world agreed to stop using damaging CFCs in the 80s.

It's proof we humans can pull together in the face of scary, overwhelming issues and make a difference.

An Aussie Does A Ripper Act Of Kindness For A Roo

This guy is a legend. Full stop.

Celebrity Couples Stayed Together (And Had Babies)

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen welcomed baby Luna to the world, and Teigen schooled mum haters worldwide about why every parent should be able to do things their way without judgement.

Then there's Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds who also introduced a tiny human into the world, as well as creating this hilarious moment of Reynolds looking like he wants to GTFO.

Some Endangered Animals Got A Little Less At Risk

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tiger numbers are increasing.

Tigers and pandas have had a very good year, with numbers growing thanks to protection measures.

Giant panda numbers have increased by 17 percent thanks to decades of work by conservationists and efforts by the Chinese government while globally, tiger numbers are on track to double the number of wild populations by 2020.

Same sex marriage legalised in more places

So Australia still hasn't legalised same-sex marriage, but as of 2016, it's become legal in Colombia, the Isle of Man, Greenland and five Mexican states. This is on top of The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Iceland, Portugal, Denmark, Brazil, England and Wales, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, Luxembourg, Scotland, Finland and Ireland.

Here's hoping 2017 will add Australia to the list.