Brian Walshe was an attendant in the House of Representatives in Parliament House from 1980 to 1988.
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Rupert Loof served as Clerk Assistant of the Senate from 1942 to 1955 and was Clerk from 1955 to 1965.
Be Prepared. That was probably the motto of the entire population of provisional Parliament House during the countdown to the Queen’s arrival on 15 February 1954.
Jack Jenkins moved to Canberra from Sydney in search of employment as a 19 year-old in 1925. He worked as a carpenter on the construction of Parliament House, and from 1929 to 1966 was the building’s chief maintenance officer.
Visitors to the Museum over the summer holidays may have been surprised to see that there was no mace in the House of Representatives.
It all started at the beginning of a summer scholarship at the Museum of Australian Democracy. I spent much of the first week soaking up the atmosphere, walking in the footsteps of the heroes and villains from my research.
In this old place—especially at night—poetry hangs in the hallways, sometimes like a picture, sometimes like a noose.
…I started to develop the exhibition and gradually, very gradually, the objects began to speak of the excitement, anticipation and pure devotion that was the summer of 1954 and the Queen’s eight week tour of Australia.
Two parts of my life collided on Saturday. My workplace, Old Parliament House, and my preferred mode of transport, a Geopolis 250 Scooter.
My internship at the Australian Prime Ministers Centre at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
As part of the Australian National Internships program at the ANU, I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past 13 weeks at the Australian Prime Ministers Centre at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
The building render restoration and repainting project on the South-East Wing has revealed evidence of a long lost, but not mourned, part of the building.
The Speaker’s Chair, in the House of Representatives chamber, has a number of special features, and the piece is drenched in symbolism.
When gazing at an iconic building it is easy to imagine that it sprang from the earth fully formed or was handed down by a Monty Pythonesque ‘hand of God’. But all great buildings have a messy, unfinished construction stage and nowadays we can document their gestation and growth with mesmerising time lapses. Unconvinced? Google ‘construction time lapse’.
Ever wanted to play out your very own Gulliver’s Travels adventure complete with Lilliputian buildings, trees, people and vehicles? This month in the museum we found our inner child as we very carefully moved our two 1:100 scale architectural models to a new exhibition space.
We recently had the opportunity to travel to Aldgate in the Adelaide Hills to document master glassblower Tim Shaw creating a new lightshade which is to play a part in the Members’ Dining Room refresh project.
For the last couple of months I have been sequestered away in the museum bunker poring over and cataloguing more than 600 architectural plans. The plans trace the design, building and evolution of Old Parliament House from 1921 until 1988.
From the 14 to 20 April I had the opportunity to participate in a five day course with the Institute for Professional Practice in the Arts and Heritage, ANU held at Kakadu National Park. Wondering what tropical climates and timber buildings would hold in store for our nationally listed ‘people’s’ house, I admit to being wonderfully surprised.
My colleague, Beck Moloney, recently posted a blog about the stationery cupboard that was originally a part of a strong room here in this heritage building. Beck included some photographs of the space, including one of a sign cautioning people not to put keys into the safe and close the door.
I’ve been working at the museum for over 18 months now and, though I’ve become accustomed to the building’s rabbit warren-like layout and (sometimes) pokey rooms, one place that has continued to pique my interest is the room where we keep our office stationery.
For several years in the late 1920s and 1930s, before the opening of the Australian War Memorial, the provisional Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy) was the focus of Anzac Day ceremonies in Canberra.