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Prime Minister's Suite

Explore the surprisingly humble office where Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke once led the country.


Main floor

See the Black Bean desk where Hawke would pore over briefings or smoke a cigar late into the night. Peer into the maze of tiny offices where the Prime Minister’s staff worked long hours, complete with ashtrays, typewriters and pinboards - just as it would’ve been in the ‘80s.

The black and white photograph shows Heather Mittag dressed in a plaid skirt suit sitting on a chair in a small open plan office. Several desks are dominated by large typewriters and computer monitors. The walls are filled with pinboards containing notes and reference sheets and there are numerous filing cabinets hold.  On the back wall is a framed print of the painting ‘The Shearing of the Rams’ by Tom Roberts. Styled like it's from the '80s, this is the corner of an office typewriters, desks, chairs with jackets over them.

Secretary Heather Mittag sits in the small general office in the Prime Minister’s Suite in 1985. The office was used by an office manager, a telephone receptionist, a Cabinet secretary and several steno-secretaries. These hard-working members of staff worked long hours and when rostered for the evening shift it was not uncommon for them to leave work at 1am or later.

MoAD Collection

A staco of magazines and a coffee cup sat on one of the desks, alongside a tray of papers. On the wall behind, the bottom of a 'Kakadu National Park' poster can be seen.

A can of 'Tango' drink sat on a desk, along with a telephone, hole punch and other typical clutter found on desks.

A 1980s looking office with brown desks, typewriters and printed pages stuck to a corkboard.

Plan your visit

There are small rooms and some narrow spaces.