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Our collection captures the ideas, movements, people and events of Australian democracy. 

Photograph of two orange square earrings attached to a card with the lablel "CATHY'S BLING - Proudly supporting Cathy McGowan's Campaign"

‘Cathy’s Bling’ earrings

These small but mighty earrings were created for Cathy McGowan's campaign for the Indi electorate.

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Photograph of a stamp

Neville Bonner’s stamp

This stamp displaying Neville Bonner’s name and job title was used for his parliamentary work in office.

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Plaque presented to Dorothy Tangney

Plaque presented to Dorothy Tangney

This plaque signifys Dorothy Margaret Tangney becoming Australia’s first woman senator.

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Photograph of an ornate souvenir spoon

Souvenir spoon with commemorative florin

The first Australian commemorative coin marked the 1927 opening of Australia's provisional Parliament House.

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Photograph of a medallion labled "Charlotte Blacklock"

WSPU hunger strike medal

The Women’s Social and Political Union took extreme actions to advance the cause of women’s suffrage.

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Photograph of a small badge labled "Free Julian"

Julian Assange supporters’ badge

From 2006, the website WikiLeaks, and its founder, Julian Assange posted leaked government documents.

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Photograph of a metal tag labled "Non members bar"

Non-Members’ Bar life membership tags

From 1946, a lively bar was provided for ‘non-members’ of parliament at the provisional Parliament House.

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Photograph of a small matchbook reading "Vote liberal 1 Darby in Werriwa"

Michael Darby’s campaign matchbook

More than an unassuming piece of campaign material, this matchbook has a story to tell.

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Photograph of a small, white ceramic elephant

Souvenir elephant

This miniature elephant is a tongue-in-cheek example of souvenirs depicting provisional Parliament House.

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Photograph of a small circular box filled with blye tipped matches

Commonwealth Match Works vesta case

Pocket-sized cylindrical boxes for matches, were popular in Australia and New Zealand in the early 1900s.

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Photograph of two brass coloured cufflinks

Court dress cufflinks and vesta case

These decorated cufflinks were part of a court dress uniform for the Minister for External Affairs.

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Photograph of a signet ring

President of the Senate’s signet ring

Australia’s first ever President of the Senate likely commissioned this gold and bloodstone signet ring.

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Photograph of a fire damaged ceiling in Old Parliament House

Fire damage to Old Parliament House

Photograph of fire damage to Old Parliament House and remediation under way.

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Photograph of a worn commonwealth sixpence

Commonwealth of England sixpence

This rare hammered silver coin represents a foundational idea for the history of parliamentary democracy.

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A stuffed toy koala with a leather nose.

Toy koala

A beloved toy koala gifted to Australia’s 100,000th British post-war migrant.

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A brown old coin with the words three pence on the front. There is a hole in the middle of the coin with a wreath that goes around the hole.

Threepenny internment camp tokens

A different kind of currency.

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A light brown plastic phone with rows of red buttons and a manual hand dial. The receiver sits on the side.

Multifone telephone used by William McMahon

Lift the handle and listen for the dial tone.

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A close up of a large chair that is wooden, leather and ornate.

Speaker's Chair

A gift to the Australian Parliament from the United Kingdom.

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A photograph of the Prime Ministers office

Prime minister's desk

An expanse of desktop.

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A selection of rail tickets with hand written cursive text and a blue leather wallet.

Ethel Bruce's rail pass and tickets to the opening of Parliament House

First class travel for the wife of the prime minister.

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An orange skivvy with the words 'It's time' in big black font on the front.

It's time skivvy

A rallying cry: ‘It’s time’.

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Photograph of a wooden chair with red leather seat cushion and back.

Dining room chair

A workhorse chair you can still sit on today.

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An embroidered multicoloured knitted cushion.

Embroidered cushion gifted to Arthur Calwell

A symbol of a substantial change in government policy.

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A dark room with heavy curtins and a large, heavy oval shaped table with a hole in the middle surrounded by large grey chairs.

Cabinet Room table

A table fit for a Cabinet.

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A blue leather barber's chair with white handles displayed in a room with a brown wooden door behind it.

Barber's chair

Not a hair out of place.

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