MoAD is open. There may be building works during your visit. Learn more

Senate Chamber

History making moments.


Main floor

The Senate Chamber has seen many firsts.

In 1943, Dorothy Tangney was the first woman elected to the Senate. Neville Bonner became Australia’s first Aboriginal federal parliamentarian when he was appointed to the Senate in 1971. 

Neville Bonner seated in the Senate chamber, wearing a suit and red tie.

Senator Neville Bonner presiding over the Senate, 1975. MoAD Collection

A black and white photo of Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons wearing dress suits and hats walking in through the front door of Old Parliament House.

Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons walk through the front doors of Parliament House in 1943. Australian War Memorial

Queen Elizabeth II opened parliament here during the royal tour in 1954. This room has seen it all.

A black and white photo of the Senate Chamber filled with people standing up looking to an ornate chair at the front of the room where the Queen sits wearing a crown and a sash. A room with rows of glass topped benches facing a red leather chair, with red curtins and timber panelling.

Queen Elizabeth opens parliament in 1954. 

NLA 133856378

A close up of old fashioned phones underneath desks in the Senate Chamber.

A close up of red carpet with an ornate pattern.

Plan your visit

There are some small steps into the chamber. Some areas are not accessible to wheelchair users.

Opportunity to sit down.