666 ABC Canberra Mornings presenter, Alex Sloan, and museum historian, Dr Barry York, are sharing stories from the museum’s oral history collection during September. The latest theme from the collection is ‘staffers to prime ministers’.
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666 ABC Canberra Mornings presenter, Alex Sloan, and museum historian, Dr Barry York, will be sharing stories from the oral history collection during September.
Alan Cumming Thom (1928-2007) was an officer of the Senate for 33 years (1955-1988) and Clerk of the Senate for six years (1982-1988).
Annette Holden, a full-time journalist at the ABC from 1985 to 1989, recalls the lively ball organised by the Press Gallery on 13 August 1988 to mark the end of the Provisional Parliament House.
Not too long ago there was something of a frenzy in the Australian media after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper MP, re-introduced a note of ceremonial formality to the openings of parliamentary sittings.
The museum have received hundreds of badges from the public, each one telling a different and unique story about democracy. This presents an interesting challenge for our Collections Management team.
In November last year, I blogged about an old bottle of port—an empty bottle, I hasten to add!—which I donated to the museum. Arising from that report, the museum received a donation of three other political campaign bottles, and has been notified by readers of their own bottle collections at home.
Recently a 10 cm split was detected in the carpet on the floor of the House of Representatives. What should we do? The split was in a prominent location and this area was subject to heavy foot traffic.
Hec McMillan grew up in Canberra from 1926. In this excerpt from an interview recorded in 1996 he recalls the national capital in the mid-1920s.
I remember we lined the streets for what seemed like hours. We were very hot in our serge school uniforms but it was very exciting. Finally the Queen was on her way and we were rewarded with the sight of the black roof of the Royal Car as she passed by.
Fourteen prime ministers conducted important discussions and made decisions which changed the course of the nation at this desk. What hard-won deals, what visionary dreams, what shattered hopes were witnessed from this well used desk?
This month marks ten years since the Democratic Republic of East Timor (also known as Timor Leste) was born. The long and bloody struggle to gain independence from Indonesia resulted in the creation of one of the world’s newest democracies in May 2002.
‘Shyness and reserve … obscures the warmth, sensitiveness, and acute perceptions’ of rulers, said sculptor Kathleen Scott. Her fine bust of Stanley Bruce makes the point.
As Old Parliament House celebrates its 85th birthday museum curators have taken the opportunity to shine a spotlight on one of its collections, which features attractive images of the building. This collection of Canberra travel posters, generously donated by Canberra resident Peter Graves, presents the Provisional Parliament House (later Old Parliament House) as the central Canberra feature.
If you visited the museum in past couple of weeks you may have seen staff members crawling around on their hands and knees looking at the furniture. There is a perfectly good reason for this… our annual stocktake!
Currently on display in the museum’s Living Democracy exhibition is this shop display cabinet associated with chocolate producers J S Fry & Sons and dating from c. 1910.
At the beginning of March a Queensland Times newspaper read “Slipper tally: 26 pollies ejected”, and a few days later a headline in the Age shouted “The revenge of Peter Slipper”. Similar headlines have been common in recent months as new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, has removed a number of prominent Members from the House for poor conduct and language.
The recent election of Campbell Newman as Queensland Premier offers the museum a chance to remind visitors of his role as the next generation of a remarkable political family.
Last week we sent our puppet of Sir John Kerr, usually on display in the Prime Ministers of Australia exhibition, off to the National Museum of Australia for light fade testing.
Thanks to The Canberra Times and ABC 666 spreading the word, we have found out more about the Julia Gillard/Tony Abbott T-shirt!