A lot has happened in a year, but what were the stories that captured the most attention? According to our one-year digital subscribers, the articles below represent the 52 most viewed online stories.
After a stuttering start, summer is finally about to arrive across Victoria - with a vengeance. The weather bureau is warning of a stretch of sizzling days ahead, especially in the state's interior, with the temperature starting a climb into the 30s in the west and north today and heading for the mid-40s next week. Melbourne is forecast to hit 39 on Tuesday.
A set of explosive photos showing billionaire gaming mogul James Packer embroiled in a vicious fist fight with his former best man and the head of Nine Entertainment Group David Gyngell have hit the market this morning. The images were taken outside Packer's multimillion-dollar Bondi Beach home on Sunday afternoon.
The first plane left Perth at about 9.15am. Four other planes have reached the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane or are on their way. A Norwegian merchant ship has been scouring the area, 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth, since Thursday night, with another due to arrive tonight.
New Year's Eve comes with the perennial question: should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Thanks to the ABC's coverage of last night's fireworks-laden festivities, we have an answer: come back Richard Wilkins, all is forgiven.
A boy with cuts all over his body is using every ounce of his strength to cling on to a rubber-gloved medic trying to lay him on a hospital bed.
What the haunting photograph does not capture are the Palestinian boy’s screams at the paramedic: “I want my father, bring me my father!”
An angry-looking Indonesian justice minister indicated late on Monday night that he may revoke Schapelle Corby’s parole after watching the Seven Network’s documentary about her release. The Indonesian government explicitly warned the Corby family that Schapelle should not do a post-release interview, but the story on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program went ahead anyway.
Denis Napthine decided he'd had enough. He told his driver to pull up on a Ballarat roadside. Once his driver and advisers were out of the car, the Premier picked up his mobile phone and, for the second day in a row, dialled Geoff Shaw, the rogue MP for Frankston.
The 16-month drugs probe into Essendon Football Club has climaxed following the issuing of a slew of show-cause notices for players by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Late on Thursday, Essendon players and their agents were being advised of ASADA's notification, in writing, of alleged anti-doping rule breaches.
Only days after trumpeting it had poached him from global fast fashion giant Zara, Myer told Fairfax Media this morning it has been forced to terminate the employment of Andrew Flanagan, after it was revealed that he had never worked for the Spanish fashion retailer and it had never heard of him.
Satellite images taken four days ago were analysed and confirmed, on Thursday, to show two pieces of debris that could be wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. One piece is approximately 24-metres long and the other five-metres long.
Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella’s fight to retain her seat of Indi has suffered a setback in sensational circumstances after the Australian Electoral Commission found a large pile of pre-poll votes that significantly tip the scales in favour of Independent Cathy McGowan. The 1003 votes for Ms McGowan had been overlooked as a result of "clerical error".
When the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's John Young took to the podium to explain to reporters the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source. When asked, he avoided the question.
A frustrated Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told Russia's Trade Minister that Russia cannot “wash its hands” of the MH17 tragedy and that he distrusts President Vladimir Putin's assurances it will assist an impartial investigation into the tragedy.
The daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates posted a picture of herself, as a baby in her mother's arms, to her Instagram account in the early hours of Monday, Sydney time. Just a day later Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof was found dead by ambulance officers, following a call to police reporting concern for the welfare of a woman at an address near Wrotham, Kent, south-east of London.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told government MPs he had to schedule an early morning visit to a cancer research centre in Melbourne on Tuesday so that he could justify billing taxpayers to be in the city for a "private function" the night before.
Mr Abbott made the admission at the regular meeting of Liberal and Nationals MPs after being taken to task by one his own senators for turning up an hour late.
Veteran actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead in his California home. He was 63.
It appears the popular performer – loved for both his comedic and dramatic roles – took his own life.
His publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said Williams had been battling depression recently.
Australia’s political elite are among the country’s most enthusiastic real estate investors, with records showing one freeholding Nationals member owns 50 properties and another holds 17.
Federal politicians on average own 2.5 properties each, or an estimated $300 million worth of land holdings, analysis of their interests shows.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and transponder on MH370 were deliberately disabled and the plane diverted towards the southern Indian Ocean or north towards Kazakhstan suggests that one (or both) of the pilots or one (or more) of the passengers was responsible for the loss of the aircraft. It has created hope among relatives of the crew and passengers that survivors could be found somewhere on land or in a life raft on the Indian Ocean.
Carlton youngster Josh Bootsma has become the first AFL player to be sacked for social media misconduct, after the Blues terminated his contract on Tuesday.
The decision comes after a series of disciplinary issues with the defender and follows discussions with Bootsma’s management and the AFL Players Association.
The Age has long held that policy, not personality, is the core of our democracy. It is on this basis that we advocate a vote for Labor in the federal election on Saturday. We do so fully acknowledging that the Coalition under Tony Abbott has run a disciplined and competent campaign, and that after six years of Labor government the electorate is wary and weary of Labor's infighting. Yet we cannot endorse a party that advocates policies with which we fundamentally disagree.
Security Council members gathered to pass unanimously an Australian resolution condemning the downing of flight MH17 and demanding immediate access to the site of the atrocity, the dignified repatriation of the remains of the victims and an independent international investigation.
That the resolution survived Russia’s power of veto with its language and intent largely intact was the result of a smart and astonishingly fast diplomatic effort led by Australia.
In the moments before his death, Luke Batty had asked his mother, Rosie, for just a few more minutes to play with his dad after cricket practice. Nobody could have expected the horrific events that would unfold in those final minutes between an 11-year-old boy and the mentally ill father who loved him, a distraught Rosie Batty said.
As Egypt attempts to broker an extended ceasefire in Gaza after 15 days of fighting that has resulted in more than 620 deaths, some Israelis and Palestinians are taking to social media to show their desire for an end to the bloodiest conflict between the two warring sides in 15 years.
Israelis and Palestinians of all ages are posting photos of themselves with messages that project beauty, hope and despair.
The purpose of the horrific video of the beheading of US photojournalist James Foley seems straightforward – to terrify the US into halting its aerial bombardment of the militant group.
But what appears to be a barbaric and blood-soaked ransom note to force a US withdrawal has an entirely different objective, say former national security operatives and terrorism experts.
That is, to generate enough public outrage so the US and its allies expand their military campaign in Iraq and Syria to include ground forces.
The investigation into the baffling disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been shrouded in more confusion, with authorities in Kuala Lumpur backtracking on when a crucial communications system on the passenger jet was switched off.
Severe thunderstorms have not delivered much relief to Melburnians baking on the third consecutive day of heatwave. The weather bureau issued an updated warning on Thursday evening that the storms have passed Melbourne. The real cool change is on its way, but only after another day of scorching temperatures, and the bureau has revised Friday's forecast top temperature to 44 degrees.
A design academic who taught the Prime Minister’s daughter and has been caught in a leaking scandal has brought a legal claim against his former employer saying he was effectively dismissed – and he has added Tony Abbott as a respondent to the action.
Academic Melletios Kyriakidis is at the centre of a storm over how the Whitehouse Institute, a private design school with Liberal Party connections, awarded a scholarship worth some $60,000 to Mr Abbott’s daughter Frances in 2011.