Walking through the halls of the Old Parliament Building in Canberra, you can’t help but think “if only these walls could talk”. As you walk through the white building, you can’t help but notice the green and red leather bound books that contain the transcripts from years of parliamentary debates; the worn green leather chairs in the House of Representatives meetings room that give an insight into the 1930s political era; and if you’re lucky you might even bump into the current, or a former Prime Minister.
The home of the Australian Parliament from 1927 to 1988, the Old Parliament House buildings were designed by John Smith Murdoch as a provisional parliament building, intended to last for only 50 years.
As the building developed, so did the capital city of Canberra around it and the increasing needs of the Australian population.
In the 61 years that the building served as the home of Australian politics, the House of Representatives grew in numbers from 76 to 148 members, and the Senate from 36 to 76, with approximately 3000 staff employed by the time the doors closed in 1988.
Following the opening of the new Parliament Buildings further up the hill, these buildings became the home of the Museum of Australian Democracy, a wonderful place to learn more about the our policy makers and processes here in Australia.
UDHR Quilt Project
Highlighting craftivism and the movement that combines craft and activism to quietly, but powerfully protest for social and political change, the UDHR Quilt exhibit encourages people to think about the different ways their voices can be heard.
The quilts on display are embroidered with the articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and showcased how human rights are continued to be challenged globally.
Onsite activities are available, allowing visitors to become involved and inspired by the role craftivism can play in both local and global politics.
Breaking Through: 75 Years of Women in Parliament
Growing up being taught that as females we can do or be whatever we choose to be, it can sometimes be hard to imagine what life would have been like for those women who were brave enough to pave the way, enabling the many opportunities that exist for women now.
To celebrate 75 years of women elected into Federal Parliament here in Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy’s Breaking Through exhibit explores the journeys of 11 trailblazers who were the first women to hold their individual parliamentary roles.Breaking Through recognizes and celebrates the achievements and contributions made by women such as Enid Lyons and Dorothy Tangney in Australian politics (both women have featured in our Wonderful Women Wednesday Instagram Series).
PlayUP: the Right to Have an Opinion and be Heard
How do you teach children about their rights and responsibilities? You lead them into PlayUP – a fully interactive area of the Museum designed to educate young minds and their families on the rights of children as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.
Providing children with the opportunity to explore role play, dress up, their imagination and discovery, PlayUP is a must visit for young families when visiting the Old Parliament Buildings.Providing children with the opportunity to explore role play, dress up, their imagination and discovery, PlayUP is a must visit for young families when visiting the Old Parliament Buildings.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House