The Hon. Don Page MP has held the seat of Ballina for the Nationals in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 1988. He became Minister for Local Government, and Minister for the North Coast in 2011.
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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.
On 15th September the museum will be celebrating the United Nations International Day of Democracy. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, when it ‘encouraged governments to strengthen national programs devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy’.
The museum now has two brand new websites, showing off aspects of our art collection. One concerns the work of John Frith, the other the work of a Melbourne socialist art community.
In July this year, the museum was honoured by a visit from former Senator, Chris Puplick AM. Mr Puplick was greeted by Daryl Karp, Director of the Museum, and Libby Stewart, Senior Historian. Mr Puplick was accompanied by Larry Galbraith, who is Senior Policy Adviser to Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney.
The museum recently acquired a rather lovely new item: a photo of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, taken by 12 year-old Sophie Deane, which now forms part of the museum’s digital collection.
We have a new and significant collection of original cartoons and sculptures by John Frith (1906-2000), one of Australia’s most prolific and celebrated cartoonists and artists. Hear an interview with Jeffrey Frith, John’s son, discussing the techniques and approaches that his father took to his cartoon art.
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.
This Thursday 11 July the museum will celebrate NAIDOC week with a look at the life of the first Indigenous Member of Parliament, Neville Bonner. Senior Historian Libby Stewart will talk about the early life and parliamentary career of this extraordinary man in a talk illustrated with images and objects owned by Neville Bonner, now held in the museum’s collections.
We’ve just made some changes to the ‘light-hearted gallery’ within our Prime Ministers of Australia exhibition. This gallery features objects that demonstrate how Australians revere, revile or ridicule our leaders. Although many objects were created with a certain irreverence, they also document national events and concerns.
June 20 marks the 104th anniversary of the birth of Errol Flynn, the Tasmanian actor who became the biggest Hollywood star of his day. Star of such movies as Robin Hood, Captain Blood, The Prince and the Pauper and In the Wake of the Bounty, Flynn was born in Tasmania in 1909, the son of a prominent university professor and biologist.
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.
Between 1964 and 1984, Barrie Virtue OBE served as press secretary, private secretary and principal private secretary to the Rt. Hon. Doug Anthony. Matters relating to trade were among his highest priorities during this period.
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.
I was recently having breakfast at home reading the Canberra Times (10 April 2013) report of the death of British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher. The article included a series of photos documenting Mrs Thatcher’s life. One of the photos caught my interest. The caption read ‘Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and British PM Margaret Thatcher in Canberra’ 1st July 1979.
This is a rather different item from our Oral History collection: a recording of a radio campaign speech rather than an edited excerpt from an interview. In this broadcast, Sir Earle Page GCMG MP (1880-1961), who had been Deputy Prime Minister since 1923, sees industrial relations as the main issue for the 1929 election.
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.
We recently attended two conferences—The artefact, its context, and their narrative: multidisciplinary conservation in historic house museums and Interpretation—future challenge. Two conferences, different themes, yet we came away thinking about a common idea—’spirit of place’.