Canberra to have a museum of democracy

johnboy 18 February 2009 27

SMOS, aka Special Minister of State Senator John Faulkner, has announced that Old Parliament House is being converted to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

    The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House will be the only museum in Australia dedicated to telling the story of Australian democracy. Throughout the House visitors will be able to celebrate and consider the history and distinctive character of Australian democracy while continuing to enjoy the history and heritage of the building.

    This major redevelopment will include new exhibitions in the former Parliamentary Library, interactive technology and substantial enhancements to the visitor experience throughout the House. The utmost care will continue to be taken to preserve the unique historical and architectural significance of Old Parliament House.

    “The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House will encourage visitors to understand and participate in our democracy, by showing that democracy is about ordinary people using their voice to do extraordinary things. Visitors will discover that democracy isn’t words on a page, or numbers on a ballot paper, but a day-to-day lived experience.”

I guess only time will tell if this will be a museum dedicated to the greater glory of our political classes, or something more worthwhile.

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27 Responses to Canberra to have a museum of democracy
BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 5:57 pm 19 Feb 09

Granny said :

Does this mean that democracy is a thing of the past?

Ahhh, my thoughts too Granny! We must stop invading each others brain space! Things that are old and past their use by date go in to museums. Things like old cars, dinosaurs and even embalmed communist dictators. I like my democracy modern and up to date with loads to spare for all, thanks.

What bothers me is why an actor (Damn, his name escapes me… think of Blue Healers, Sea Change and Kath and Kim) is the chairman of the OPH Board now. How did that happen? Is he a closet historian, really really good at all thing political history or just some one who’s name we’re all supposed to know (except me apparently) and therefore, a quality choice?

ramblingted said :

We’ve got the whiteboard, but think the pants are still MIA

MMmmm, interesting….. I used to work in Ros’s Parliamentary Liason Office and recall one of my colleagues spending quite some time in front of a shredder during the ‘pork-barrelling fiasco. At that time we were also inundated with adverts from companies selling the (then) new whiteboards with in-built printers. I also have a photo somewhere of me and two colleagues singing Karaoke (The Locomotion – OK I was drunk!) with her at her last Departmental Xmas party before she quit. ONe of us has their hand on her bum giving it a fairly substantial squeeze. I’m not telling which one of us it was though! I wonder if the OPH wants the pic for their collection?!

poptop poptop 5:28 pm 19 Feb 09

When do we ever STOP talking about our political history in this City?

DrShrink DrShrink 5:27 pm 19 Feb 09

This is a project thats been a long time in the making for OPH and should be a good step. I worked on some of the project early last year, and whilst I don’t want to give too much away, it will involve a history of democracy going back to the Greeks, and a number of chances for kids/tourists to re-enact major moments in Australian political history (all done in the former cabinet room, chambers or visiting major rooms such as the PM’s Office).

As far as I know, the dismissal will keep its space on the 2nd floor, and there should be a range of events featured, focusing more on major changes/controversies in Australian history (WW2 & bringing troops home, the 1951 Anti-Communism Bill,
Fraser accepting Vietnamese migrants etc) rather on the parties themselves.

Its a good historic building and a great tourist attraction given its history and location. Australian’s like to crap on their politicians and generally ignore the history, but we have a history we should be proud of, and our political story needs to be recognised & discussed somewhere in this city.

Digga Digga 1:11 pm 19 Feb 09

Maybe our local government could learn a thing or two about democracy and they wouldn’t even have to leave their home town in the process.

Also living in hope.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 12:17 pm 19 Feb 09

jakez said :

I don’t think our democracy has been particularly democratic since about 1906. At least in the US they have representatives that occasionally don’t robot vote.

They do robot vote, however their corproate handlers tell them to.

Ozhair Ozhair 11:53 am 19 Feb 09

Hmm… We used to have the microphone that Gough used in his Dismissal speech in a cupboard around here somewhere… Haven’t seen it for a while, though.

jakez jakez 11:49 am 19 Feb 09

I don’t think our democracy has been particularly democratic since about 1906. At least in the US they have representatives that occasionally don’t robot vote.

peterh peterh 11:16 am 19 Feb 09

shame that the griffin centre wall with “export fraser, not uranium” got torn down. Now that is a museum piece…

Granny Granny 11:03 am 19 Feb 09

Oh, c’mon! Someone must have the pants!! Keep checking eBay … I reckon she’s just waiting for the right moment!

; )

Primal Primal 10:04 am 19 Feb 09

Could be great, could be sucky. I’m willing to wait and see.

ramblingted ramblingted 7:07 am 19 Feb 09

We’ve got the whiteboard, but think the pants are still MIA

Granny Granny 11:23 pm 18 Feb 09

I reckon I’d pay to see both Ros Kelly’s whiteboard and Malcolm Fraser’s pants.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 10:17 pm 18 Feb 09

…a list of John Howard’s Core/Non-Core promises?

…the mini Japanese sub that nicked Holt?

…remnants from the “Tree of Knowledge

…”King” O’Malley’s sense of humour

…Bob Hawke’s “last beer” (or bottle of tears)

imhotep imhotep 9:31 pm 18 Feb 09

Thumper said :

“Malcolm Fraser’s pants?”

LOL. I’d love to know the truth behind THAT one.

Thumper Thumper 9:28 pm 18 Feb 09

Malcolm Fraser’s pants?

caf caf 9:25 pm 18 Feb 09

Alexander Downer’s fishnets?

imhotep imhotep 9:22 pm 18 Feb 09

ramblingted said :

“Maybe John Kerr’s tophat?”

“Leaping” Leo Macleay’s bicycle?
John Brown’s desk?
Ros Kelly’s whiteboard?
Belinda Neal’s copy of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ (as new!)

johnboy johnboy 9:15 pm 18 Feb 09

LlamaFrog said :

strange this is all over twitter, I guess everybody agrees that canberra needs another museum that no-one will visit. will this not clear out half the crap at the National Museum what exactly will democracy museum contain?

Twitter’s not much of a mark of the significance of news as much as its resonance.

Thumper Thumper 9:04 pm 18 Feb 09

Maybe John Kerr’s tophat?

Hahahahahaha. That is gear…

ramblingted ramblingted 9:02 pm 18 Feb 09

Maybe John Kerr’s tophat?

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