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Government Party Room

Party members worked quietly and debated loudly.


Main floor

Until the 1960s, many parliamentarians weren't allocated an office, so the Party Room, Parliamentary Library and their chamber desks had to make do.

Photograph of the Government Party Room

Timber units in the Government Party Room held stationery and a clever system for displaying today’s date.

Photograph of a table covered in an assortment of prop historical objects in the Government Party Room

In earlier times, parliamentarians who had not been allocated a desk in an office would use one in the Party Room.

The Party Room became home base. They'd settle into the club chairs to read, sit at a small desk to respond to mail or claim one of the sound-proof telephone booths to make a call.

This colour photograph shows the Government Party Room re-created to evoke the atmosphere of 1964. There is a large meeting table in the foreground with a timber stationery holder and glass water jug. In the background are green leather easy chairs and settees and a large honey-coloured bookcase containing reference books, Hansards (volumes of parliamentary debates) and a radio. This black and white photograph shows Prime Minister Robert Menzies seated at a large table in the Government Party Room in 1965. He is conducting a press conference and there is a microphone, jug and water glass, and papers on the table. Behind him are three men seated in easy chairs and a bookcase filled with Hansards (volumes of parliamentary debates).

Second image: Prime Minster Robert Menzies conducts a press conference in the Government Party Room in 1965

National Archives of Australia A1200, L51588


The recreation of the Government Party Room was made possible by the generous support of our donors. 

Plan your visit

There is an audio soundscape and music that plays in the space after entering.