One thing I remember about then is the Graham Thorne kidnapping and murder. He was the young son of a guy who’d won 25,000 pounds in the Opera House Lottery, and some low-life vulture decided to kidnap him and demand ransom from the father. Killed the poor kid too. There was talk that the culprit, Stephen Bradley (anglicised name), was about to be released from prison many years later and other prisoners decided that people who murdered kids don’t leave jail (vertically anyway).
That gave us pause. I think I was 8 or 9 when that happened.
Other than that, it seemed to be safe for kids in Melbourne (not Adelaide, of course - Beaumont kids, Adelaide Oval girls). We could play on the kids’ playgrounds and climb trees, before today’s molly-coddling. Kids learned to protect themselves from injury - now you just sue the people who supply equipment or wear helmets. We could kick the footy in our wide street without much traffic - we could play cricket in the street. Street’s changed a lot now.
And the fear of polio was disappearing with the Salk and later Sabin vaccines. I don’t recall if we had the MMR vaccines then. I know I caught MM, not R, plus chicken-pox.
And you could make a few bob by returning soft drink bottles.
Of course there was the added pain of having to do altar boy duty for 6 or 7 years and 13 years of Catholic school. Luckily I was never the apple of some priest or Christian brother’s eye. And Vatican 2 happened in my early teenage years, so a lot of the ridiculous old rules disappeared.