Parliament House, Canberra

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia, located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects and built by a Concrete Constructions and John Holland joint venture. It was opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. It cost more than A$1.1 billion to build.

Federal Parliament meetings were held in Melbourne until 1927. Between 1927 and 1988, the Parliament of Australia met in the Provisional Parliament House, which is now known as "Old Parliament House". Construction of Australia's permanent Parliament House was delayed while its location was debated. Construction of the new building began in 1981. The principal design of the structure is based on the shape of two boomerangs and is topped by an 81-metre (266 ft) flagpole.

Parliament House contains 4,700 rooms, and many areas are open to the public. The main foyer contains a marble staircase and leads to the Great Hall, which has a large tapestry on display. The House of Representatives chamber is decorated green, while the Senate chamber has a red colour scheme. Between the two chambers is the Members' Hall, which has a water feature and is not open to the public. The Ministerial Wing houses the office of the prime minister and other ministers.

Parliament House
Parliament House at dusk, Canberra ACT
The main entrance at blue hour
General information
LocationCanberra, Australian Capital Territory
Construction started1981
Inaugurated9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia
CostA$1.1 billion
Height107 metres (351 feet)
Technical details
Floor area250,000 m²
(2,700,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectRomaldo Giurgola
Architecture firmMitchell Giurgola & Thorp Architects
Structural engineerIrwinconsult
Main contractorConcrete Constructions
John Holland

Before the establishment of Canberra

Parliament House, Melbourne, was home to Federal Parliament for 26 years from 1901 to 1927.

In 1901, when the six British colonies in Australia federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne and Sydney were the two largest cities in the country, but the long history of rivalry between them meant that neither could become the national capital. Section 125 of the Constitution of Australia therefore provided that:

The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney.

Such territory shall contain an area of not less than one hundred square miles, and such portion thereof as shall consist of Crown lands shall be granted to the Commonwealth without any payment therefor. The Parliament shall sit at Melbourne until it meet at the seat of Government.

In 1909, after much argument, the Parliament decided that the new capital would be in the southern part of New South Wales, on the site which is now Canberra. The Commonwealth acquired control over the land in 1911, but World War I intervened, and nothing was done for some years to build the city. Federal Parliament did not leave Melbourne until 1927.

In the meantime the Australian Parliament met in the 19th-century edifice of Parliament House, Melbourne,[1] while the Victorian State Parliament met in the nearby Royal Exhibition Building for 26 years.

Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House opening, 1927

After World War I the Federal Capital Advisory Committee was established to prepare Canberra to be the seat of government, including the construction of a Parliament House. The committee decided that it would be best to erect a "provisional" building, to serve for a predicted 50 years until a new, "permanent" House could be built. In the end, Old Parliament House was Parliament's home for 61 years. In the last decade of its use as a parliament the building had a chronic shortage of available space.[2]

Turning the first sod, Parliament House, Canberra
Turning the first sod, Parliament House, Canberra

New Parliament House

In 1978 the Fraser government decided to proceed with a new building on Capital Hill, and the Parliament House Construction Authority was created.[2] A two-stage competition was announced, for which the Authority consulted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and, together with the National Capital Development Commission, made available to competitors a brief and competition documents. The design competition drew 329 entries from 29 countries.[3]

The competition winner was the Philadelphia-based architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, with the on-site work directed by the Italian-born architect Romaldo Giurgola,[4][5] with a design which involved burying most of the building under Capital Hill, and capping the edifice with an enormous spire topped by a large Australian flag. The facades, however, included deliberate imitation of some of the patterns of the Old Parliament House, so that there is a slight resemblance despite the massive difference of scale.

CSIRO ScienceImage 11533 Parliament House Canberra
Aerial view of Parliament House

Giurgola placed an emphasis on the visual aesthetics of the building by using landscape architect Peter G. Rolland to direct civil engineers, a reversal of the traditional roles in Australia.[3] Rolland played a pivotal role in the design, development and coordination of all surface elements including pool design, paving, conceptual lighting and artwork locations.[3] Horticultural experts from the Australian National Botanic Gardens and a government nursery were consulted on plant selection.[3] Permanent irrigation has been limited to only the more formal areas.[3] Irwinconsult was commissioned to provide structural engineering, including quality assurance of all structural elements, to deliver a building with a designed life-span of 200 years.[6]

Construction began in 1981, and the House was intended to be ready by Australia Day, 26 January 1988, the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia.[3] It was expected to cost A$220 million. Neither the deadline nor the budget was met.[7]

Opening parliament house 1988
Opening ceremony in 1988

The building was finally opened by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia on 9 May 1988,[8] the anniversary of the opening of both the first Federal Parliament in Melbourne on 9 May 1901 by the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V),[9] and of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927 by the Duke of York (later King George VI).[10]

The flag flown from the 81 metres (266 feet) flagpole is 12.8 by 6.4 m (42 by 21 ft), about the size of half a tennis court.[11] The flagpole weighs 250 tonnes and is made of polished stainless steel from Wollongong. It was designed to be the pinnacle of Parliament House and is an easily recognisable symbol of national government. It is visible by day from outside and inside Parliament House and floodlit at night. The flag itself weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb).

The site covers 80 acres (32 hectares).[3] The building was designed to sit above Old Parliament House when seen from a distance. The building is four metres (13 feet) higher than the original height of the hill.[3] About one million cubic metres (35,000,000 cubic feet) of rock had to be excavated from the site. It was used to fill low-lying areas in the city.[3] Most of the granite used was sourced from Australia. Twice the amount needed was quarried as a very high standard of granite was required particularly for the curved walls.[3]

It was proposed originally to demolish Old Parliament House so that there would be an uninterrupted vista from the New Parliament House to Lake Burley Griffin and the Australian War Memorial, but there were successful representations for the preservation of the historic building, which now houses a parliamentary museum.

The original idea was for Parliament House to be open free to the public, and the sweeping lawns leading up to the entrances were intended to symbolise this. The building is a major visitor attraction in Canberra with about 1 million visits each year.[12] With the increased risk of terrorist attacks in recent years, the security of Parliament House has been increased greatly. One result has been the construction of crash barriers blocking vehicular access to the lawns.

Parliament House, Canberra, Pano jjron 25.9.2008-edit1
The front architecture built into Capital Hill, including the forecourt and main entrance, and illustrating a ground-level view of the boomerang-shaped design


Great Hall - Parliament of Australia
The Great Hall in Parliament House. The tapestry at the rear of the room is an enlarged version of an Arthur Boyd painting, and at 20 by 9 metres (66 ft × 30 ft) is one of the largest tapestries in the world.[13]

The public entrance to Parliament House opens into the main foyer leading into the Great Hall, which features a tapestry based on a painting by Arthur Boyd, the original of which is also displayed in the building. Functions that have parliamentary and federal relevance often take place here, but the Great Hall is also open to functions for the general public, such as weddings, and the nearby University of Canberra hosts graduation ceremonies here.

Below the tapestry of the Great Hall is a removable division which opens on to the Members' Hall, which has a water feature at its centre. This is an area restricted to security-classified occupants of the building and special visitors. Directly ahead of the Members' Hall is the Ministerial Wing, housing the office suites of the Prime Minister and government Ministers. The Members' Hall has access to the House of Representatives and the Senate buildings to the left and right of the main entrance to the halls respectively. Public access to the visitors' galleries and the Main Committee Room is via an upper level reached by impressive marble staircases ascending from the entrance foyer. There are also 19 committee rooms which are open to the public and a highly secure Cabinet Room on the ground floor.[12]

House of Representatives

Australian House of Representatives - Parliament of Australia
The House of Representatives

In commemoration of the colour scheme of the British House of Commons, the House of Representatives is decorated in green. However, the colour is muted to suggest the colour of eucalyptus leaves, or the Australian bush.

From the perspective of the image, the press gallery is ahead, with public galleries containing 388 seats[14] to the left and right. Soundproofed galleries for school groups are directly above these, as no talking is permitted when the House members are present.

Australian House of Representatives centre desk, Hansard and dispatch boxes - Parliament of Australia
A part of the front bench, and the dispatch boxes

Frontbench (Cabinet) members approach the table with the ornate box (pictured), known as the despatch box, to speak. Backbenchers have a microphone on their desk and merely stand to speak (unless they cannot stand), in accordance with standing order 60.

Also on the table is a copy of Hansard and where the clerk and deputy clerk sit. The clerk needs to know all the rules of Parliament and is responsible for ringing the bells during a division (voting). In front of the clerk are the hour glasses. The outer glasses measure four minutes and the middle glass measures one minute. These glasses are turned when there is a division; one of the four-minute glasses is turned and the bells will ring and the clocks will flash green for the House of Representatives or red for the Senate for four minutes. After the hourglass stops, the house's attendants will lock the doors and the whips will count the votes. Members vote by either moving to the government side of the house for a vote for a bill or the opposition side for a vote against a bill. If there are successive divisions, and there is no debate after the first division, the middle one-minute hourglasses are turned and the bells are rung for one minute.

As is the custom with Westminster parliaments, members of the governing party sit to the Speaker's right, and the Opposition sits to the Speaker's left. Independents and minor parties sit on the cross-benches. The long benches (the front benches) closest to the despatch boxes are reserved for the Cabinet on the government's side and the Shadow Cabinet on the Opposition's side.


Australian Senate - Parliament of Australia
The Senate chamber

The Senate chamber matches the colour scheme of the House of Lords, decorated in red, but muted to tints of ochre, suggesting the earth and the colours of the outback.

Senate panorama
The Australian Senate

The gallery arrangement is almost identical to that of the House of Representatives. Unlike the House of Representatives, only the leader of the government or opposition in the Senate approaches the lectern; other frontbench senators and all backbench senators have a desk microphone. As can be seen from the illustrations, unlike the House of Representatives, there is no distinction between the front and back benches in the Senate chamber; Senate ministers and their opposition counterparts have the same two-seat benches as all other senators. The press gallery is located above the Senate chamber. The presiding officer of the Australian Senate is the President of the Senate, who occupies a position in the Senate chamber similar to that of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Behind the seat of the President of the Senate are two large seats which are modern versions of thrones. The larger is used by the Governor-General or the monarch (when visiting) when they open Parliament at the start of a new parliamentary session. The vice-regal consort or the royal consort (when visiting) sits in the smaller throne.

Art collection

The Parliament House Art Collection of over 6,000 works includes commissioned (and purchased) portraits of every prime minister, governor-general, president of the senate and speaker of the house, as well as other works of art significant to Australia.[15][16]

Function events

The new Parliament House is a central hub for events in Canberra, hosting many of the nation's largest and most important function events. The Parliament House is a place for meetings, conferences (government, and private), celebrations, and other miscellaneous uses. The Parliament House is one of the few parliament houses in the world where private events are permitted.[17] The Parliament House has 14 event spaces that can be used for special events.

Solar power project

In 2011, the Department of Parliamentary Services commissioned a pilot 43.3 kW photovoltaic system on the roof of Parliament House in Canberra. The system is split between two locations, with 192 panels installed on the Senate wing with the remaining 42 panels on the roof of the Gardeners' Compound.[18] At the time of construction, the system was one of the largest installed for solar power in Australia.

According to the Department of Parliamentary Services, the system was switched on in June 2011 and has performed as expected by providing enough power for lighting in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[18] This equates to an approximate saving of $9,000 which is expected to rise to $17,000 annually.

The system received an award from the Clean Energy Council in 2012 for 'Best design and installation of a grid-connect power system greater than 10 kW.'[19]

See also


  1. ^ Australia Spirit of a Nation, p. 101
  2. ^ a b Blenkin, Max (1 January 2009). "Parliament forced to build new Parliament House in Canberra". Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cantor, Steven L. (1996). Contemporary Trends in Landscape Architecture. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 160–166. ISBN 0471287911. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  4. ^ Tony Stephens, "Like his work, he'll blend into the landscape", Sydney Morning Herald, 3 July 1999
  5. ^ "A symbol built to last" (PDF). Australian Government. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  6. ^ www.
  7. ^ Dunkerley, Susanna (8 May 2008). "Parliament House to mark 20th birthday". Nine News. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  8. ^ The Australian Political System, p. 737
  9. ^ Australia Spirit of a Nation, p. 100
  10. ^ Australia Spirit of a Nation, p. 146
  11. ^ "43 Parliament House Facts". Parliamentary Education Office. Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  12. ^ a b "A Closer Look: Australia's Parliament House". Parliamentary Education Office. Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  13. ^ "Great Hall Tapestry". Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Parliament of Australia Visitors". Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  15. ^ Peatling, Stephanie (1 February 2015). "Parliament House art collection: The art collection nobody gets to see". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Parliament House Art Collection". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Function Venue and Catering Canberra". Parliament House Catering. InterContinental Hotels Group. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Solar panels project". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  19. ^

Books, letters, articles, websites

  • Parliament House Construction Authority (1986). Australia's New Parliament House. Barton, ACT: The Authority. pp. 85pp. ISBN 0-642-09999-5.
  • Lovell, David W; Ian MacAllister; William Maley; Chandran Kukathas (1998). The Australian Political System. South Melbourne: Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty Ltd. p. 950. ISBN 0-582-81027-2.
  • Cannon, Michael (1985). Australia Spirit of a Nation. South Melbourne: Curry O'Neil Ross Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-85902-210-2.
  • Charlton, Ken; Rodney Garnett; Shibu Dutta (2001). Federal Capital Architecture Canberra 1911–1939 (2nd Edition, Paperback, 2001 ed.). Canberra, Australia: National Trust of Australia (ACT). ISBN 0-9578541-0-2.
  • "Old Parliament House – Canberra". Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  • "Parliament House Canberra". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  • "Canberra – Australia's Culture Portal". Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  • "The Parliament of Australia: a Bibliography". Indiana University. 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2008.

External links

Coordinates: 35°18′29″S 149°07′30″E / 35.308°S 149.125°E

1988 in architecture

The year 1988 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.

1996 Parliament House riot

The 1996 Parliament House riot (also called the Canberra riot) involved a physical attack on Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, on 19 August 1996, when protesters broke away from the "Cavalcade to Canberra" rally organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and sought to force their way into the national Parliament of Australia, causing property damage and attacking police.

1998 Australian Constitutional Convention

The 1998 Australian Constitutional Convention was a Constitutional Convention which gathered at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2 to 3 February 1998. It was called by the Howard Government to discuss whether Australia should become a republic. The convention concluded with "in principle support" for an Australian republic (with a dissenting minority voting for a continuation of the Australian constitutional monarchy) and proposed a model involving appointment of the head of state by Parliament. The model was put to a referendum in November 1999 and rejected by the Australian electorate.

Amy Dickson

Amy Dickson (born 1982) is an Australian classical saxophone player.

Dickson was born in Sydney. She began to play piano at the age of two, and saxophone at the age of six. She initially played 'some jazz' in her youth, but eventually focused her saxophone training entirely on the classical repertoire. She made her concerto debut at age 16, playing the Concerto pour Saxophone Alto by Pierre Max Dubois, with Henryk Pisarek and the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra. Dickson became a recipient of the James Fairfax Australian Young Artist of the Year. She subsequently moved to London, where she took the Jane Melber Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music with Kyle Horch. She also has studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Arno Bornkamp. During this time, she became the first saxophonist to win the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, and the Prince's Prize.

In 2005 and 2011, Dickson performed for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings at the Teatru Manoel in Valletta, Malta, and the Perth Concert Hall, Australia. She has also performed at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, St James’ Palace in London and for former Australian Prime Minister John Howard at Parliament House, Canberra. In October 2013, Dickson won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Brits awards, the first saxophonist to be so honoured.Dickson has commissioned new works from such composers as Brett Dean, Ross Edwards (composer), Peter Sculthorpe, Graham Fitkin, Steve Martland and Huw Watkins. She has also arranged concertante works by Philip Glass and John Tavener, originally composed for other solo instruments, for saxophone. Now resident in London, she is an ambassador of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation and of The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is an Australian statutory body and the national regulator of the voluntary sector, including charities and other not for profits. Approximately 56,000 charities and non-profit organisations are registered with ACNC. Charities need to be registered with ACNC to be entitled to tax exempt status as well as certain other exemptions and benefits, such as an ability to give tax deductible receipts. The ACNC also seeks to harmonise state fundraising laws.The ACNC was announced in the 2011 Australian federal budget and has operated from 3 December 2012.

Capital Hill, Australian Capital Territory

Capital Hill (35°19′S 149°07′E), (postcode: 2600) is the location of Parliament House, Canberra, at the south apex of the land axis of the Parliamentary Triangle.

The site was selected as the location of the Capitol in Walter Burley Griffin's Canberra design in 1912, which he envisaged to be "either a general administration structure for popular receptions and ceremony or for housing archives and commemorating Australian Achievements". The proposed building is commemorated in the name of the Capitol Theatre, Manuka. However, Griffin's name for the hill was subsequently changed to Capital Hill.

The Parliament buildings were to be located a little further down the hill towards Lake Burley Griffin at Camp Hill, between Capital Hill and the Provisional Parliament House. Griffin opposed the plan to build a Provisional Parliament House on the lower slopes of Camp Hill, because he considered that it would make it difficult to build the permanent Parliament House on Camp Hill, as the provisional building would have to be demolished.In fact, in the 1958 and 1964 Holford plans for the Parliamentary Triangle, the site for the New Parliament House was moved to the lake shore, partly for this reason. Holford also reportedly said that a lakeside site would discourage politicians from seeing themselves as superior to ordinary people.

However, in 1974 Parliament voted to move the Parliament to its permanent location on Capital Hill, which it saw as befitting the eminence of the institution. Construction of the new parliament buildings commenced in 1981 and the new building was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988, when the Parliament relocated from the old building.

Capital Hill was previously named Kurrajong Hill and is around 2.5 km², surrounded by a circular road (Capital Circle). Until the construction of the current Parliament House, the hill was covered with scrubby native bushland. The construction of the current parliament building required removing much of the top half of the hill, and after construction, much of the earth was replaced on top of the building. The surrounding hill is landscaped with native plants, while the soil on top of Parliament House is planted with lawn. However, on the western side of the Hill, a small area of the original native bushland has been preserved.

The streets that go out from Capital Hill are named after Australian capitals, and some of their direction roughly corresponds to the direction of that capital city, Melbourne Avenue, Adelaide Avenue, Perth Avenue, Hobart Avenue and Darwin Avenue with Brisbane Avenue, Sydney Avenue not even being close. The streets which surround the hill in concentric circles are named after increasing spheres of influence with the inner-most circle called Parliament drive and then spanning out to Capital Circle, State Circle, National Circuit, Dominion Circuit and Empire Circuit.

When Griffin drew up his plans in 1912, there was still some optimism that New Zealand might join the Federation of Australia. Griffin's plans included eight avenues radiating out from Capital Hill named after the capitals of the six states, the capital of the Northern Territory and the capital of New Zealand.

Before the name Wellington Avenue was gazetted, it was realised that New Zealand was not going to become part of a Confederation of Australasia and the name was replaced by Canberra Avenue. Griffin planned that the state capital city avenues were terminated with a park named after the generic botanical name for a native plant from that particular site; for example, Telopea Park is named after the waratah, the floral emblem of New South Wales, and is at the end of Sydney Avenue, named after the capital of New South Wales.

The name of the precinct of Manuka is a remnant of Griffin's naming scheme. Another remnant of Griffin's nomenclature was the Wellington Hotel, formerly on the corner of Canberra Avenue and National Circuit, which was demolished and replaced by the hotel known as of 2007 as Rydges Capital Hill Canberra.

First Edition (Australian TV program)

First Edition is an Australian breakfast television news program broadcast on Sky News Australia. The program is currently co-hosted by Laura Jayes and Kieran Gilbert. The program is one of four breakfast news programs in Australia, competing with Sunrise, Today and ABC News Breakfast. The program airs seven days a week.The program is unusual for the fact that since 2014 it is broadcast from two locations, with Jayes co-hosting from the Sky News centre in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park, and Gilbert hosting from studios in Parliament House, Canberra. Additionally, the program also transitions into political commentary program AM Agenda at 8:30am AEST, which Gilbert hosted solo until October 2018, after which he was joined by Jayes.Weekend editions of the program were trimmed with the launch of Saturday Edition and Sunday Edition from 9 July 2016. Amy Greenbank, Tom Connell and Leanne Jones have served as substitute anchors of the program.

John Holland (engineer)

Sir John Holland (21 June 1914 – 31 May 2009) was an Australian engineer and construction magnate, who founded the John Holland Construction Group (later named John Holland (Holdings) Pty Ltd) in 1949, was managing director until 1972, Chairman until 1986, and President from 1986 until his death. The company was purchased by Heytesbury Pty Ltd in 1991, and is now owned by China Communications Construction.Holland's company's projects included major work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme including diverting the Snowy River, the new Parliament House, Canberra, the West Gate Bridge and Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, the Sydney Entertainment Centre, the rebuilding of the Tasman Bridge in Hobart, a significant role in the rebuilding of Darwin after Cyclone Tracy in 1974, and overseas project such as the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

John Smith Murdoch

John Smith Murdoch (29 September 1862 – 21 May 1945) was the chief architect for the Commonwealth of Australia from 1919, responsible for designing many government buildings, most notably the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra, the home of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988.

Linda Reynolds

Linda Karen Reynolds (born 16 May 1965) is an Australian politician. She was elected to the Australian Senate representing the state of Western Australia at the 2013 federal election as a member of the Liberal Party of Australia. In 2013, Reynolds was elected from third position on the Liberal Senate ticket, but her place in the Senate was in doubt after the High Court ordered a fresh half-Senate election in Western Australia, after determining that there were missing ballot papers. However, Reynolds was successful in the re-run and her Senate term commenced on 1 July 2014. She was subsequently re-elected to the Senate in 2016. Linda Reynolds was previously the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs from August 2018 to March 2019. She is the current Minister for Defence Industry and the Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery, and was promoted to federal Cabinet on the 2nd of March 2019 by the Morrison Liberal-National Government.

Magna Carta Place

Magna Carta Place is located in Canberra, Australia to the north-west of Old Parliament House. Centrally located in the place is a Magna Carta Monument which was provided as a gift to the people of Australia from the British Government to commemorate the centenary of Federation of Australia. The site was dedicated in 1997 which was the 700th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta by King Edward I of England. A 1297 copy of Magna Carta, purchased by the Australian government in 1952, is on display in nearby Parliament House, Canberra. The monument was unveiled by the Prime Minister of Australia John Howard in 2000 prior to the centenary of federation in 2001. Magna Carta Place is located on a semicircular network of roads consisting of King George Terrace, Queen Victoria Terrace and Langton Crescent.

Michael Denborough

Michael Antony Denborough (11 July 1929 – 8 February 2014) was an Australian academic and medical researcher who founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party.

Denborough was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia to Paul Peter Denborough and Alma Mary Hepburn. He was educated at Prince Edward School in Salisbury and the University of Cape Town before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford, where he was an assistant at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Radcliffe Infirmary. He married Erica Elizabeth Griffith Brown on 12 December 1959. He was Resident Medical Officer at National Heart Hospital in London in 1958 before travelling to Australia, where he was first assistant at the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1960 to 1968, reader in medicine at the University of Melbourne from 1972 to 1974 and was a professorial fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra from 1974 to 1991, working as acting head of the Department of Clinical Science from 1975 to 1981 and acting director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies in 1982. He edited The Role of Calcium in Drug Action, the research for which centred on malignant hyperthermia which he described in 1962 and tentatively linked with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. From 1992 to 1994 he was professor of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, retiring in 1995. He later became an emeritus professor.Denborough founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) in 1984 and contested elections on its behalf numerous times. He published Australia and Nuclear War in 1984. NDP Senators Jo Vallentine and Robert Wood were elected in 1984 and 1987 respectively.

In 2003 he conducted a lone vigil for 52 days outside Parliament House, Canberra, in protest at what he considered was the unjust invasion of Iraq.He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999. He died on 8 February 2014, survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren.

Old Parliament House, Canberra

Old Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. The building began operation on 9 May 1927 after Parliament's relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra. In 1988, the Commonwealth Parliament transferred to the new Parliament House on Capital Hill. It also serves as a venue for temporary exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

On 2 May 2008 it was made an Executive Agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. On 9 May 2009, the Executive Agency was renamed the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, reporting to the Special Minister of State.

Designed by John Smith Murdoch and a team of assistants from the Department of Works and Railways, the building was intended to be neither temporary nor permanent—only to be a "provisional" building that would serve the needs of Parliament for a maximum of 50 years. The design extended from the building itself to include its gardens, décor and furnishings. The building is in the Simplified or "Stripped" Classical Style, commonly used for Australian government buildings constructed in Canberra during the 1920s and 1930s. It does not include such classical architectural elements as columns, entablatures or pediments, but does have the orderliness and symmetry associated with neoclassical architecture.[1]

Parliament House, Melbourne

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Victoria, one of the parliaments of the Australian states and territories. The building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.The building is located on Spring Street in East Melbourne, Victoria. Construction began in 1855, and the building was officially opened the following year; however, it was not totally completed until 1929. Beginning in 1901, it served as the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia, during the period when Melbourne was the temporary national capital. The federal parliament moved to Parliament House, Canberra, in 1927, allowing the Victorian state parliament to return to the building.

Parliamentary Christian Fellowship

The Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, also known as the Parliamentary prayer group, is a gathering of Christian politicians in the Australian parliament, who hold prayer sessions on Monday nights in Parliament House, Canberra.

Paul Newton (artist)

Paul Newton, is an Australian artist.

He has won the Archibald Prize Packing Room Prize twice:

in 1996

with a portrait of radio announcer John Laws CBE;

and, again in 2001 (along with the People's Choice award)

with a portrait of characters Roy Slaven and HG Nelson.

He has works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, and is a portrait artist for Parliament House, Canberra. He has painted Prime Ministers and Governor General Sir William Deane AC, KBE. Other portraits by him have been Archibald Prize finalists including paintings of

model Kate Fischer in 1997,

model Maggie Tabberer AM in 1999, and

rugby player David Campese AM in 2000 (which was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery). He has also won portrait competitions in Philadelphia and the Portrait Society of America's 2003 International Portrait Competition in Washington DC.

In 1999 a portrait he did of Bryce Courtenay AM was hung in the Archibald Salon des Refusés. A portrait of John Doyle he did was also hung in the Salon des Refusés in 1995.

In 2002 he painted arts figure Brett Sheehy AO for that year's Archibald Prize with the painting later being a finalist in the 2004 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.In 2003 an image painted on Ian Thorpe's jeans by Paul Newton was used as a pin for the Jeans for Genes Day and the jeans were later auctioned for $26,000.He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney and a Diploma of Art from the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney.

He painted a portrait of Tara Moss which was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and was 'highly commended' at the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Awards in Bega.Newton was commissioned to paint a depiction of the Madonna and Child Our Lady of the Southern Cross

for World Youth Day 2008, which now hangs permanently in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.

He has entered the Archibald Prize twelve times and been a finalist in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 (with Self portrait #2 – dark night of the soul), 2012, 2014 and 2017.

The Big Picture (painting)

The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York (later H.M. King George V), May 9, 1901, more commonly known in Australia as The Big Picture, is a 1903 painting by the Australian artist Tom Roberts. The painting, measuring 304.5 by 509.2 centimetres (119.9 in × 200.5 in), or roughly 10 by 17 feet, depicts the opening of the first Parliament of Australia at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 9 May 1901.

The painting is part of the Royal Collection but has been on permanent loan to the Parliament of Australia since 1957. The work, currently on display in Parliament House, Canberra, has been described as "undoubtedly the principal work of art recording Australia's Parliamentary History."

Legislative buildings in Australia
States and Territories
Canberra landmarks
and structures
Parks and
open spaces
and islands

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