Get to Parliament House this morning to for perhaps the last time ever be part of what is truly one of the must fun experiences you’ll ever have in Canberra: rolling down the steep lawns of our nation’s democratic heart.
I can’t remember when I have laughed as hard as during our entire family’s rolling session down the Parliament hill facing Mt Ainslie last March. We’d joined a group indulging in this somewhat absurd, yet utterly addictive pastime as part of the 2015 You Are Here Festival.
The Roll with Me event back then was designed to draw on “a deep and uniting passion for rolling down grassy hills at Parliament House and experiences of living in a town where the architecture of government looms in the distance”.
“Come, roll with us and explore the almost imperceptible ways that your surroundings rein you in,” organisers wrote of the event.
Today’s roll-in has been organised by Canberran Lester Yao in response to the sad news that the hills will shortly be closed to the public for security reasons, and this despite the fact that architect Romaldo Giurgola designed Parliament House so that us ordinary Australians could walk over the top of our leaders, reflecting the open nature of our democracy.
So much for not letting the terrorists win.
“It’s a story I hear often from people that live in Canberra or visit Canberra and the Parliamant House,” Mr Yao writes on the Facebook event page for this morning’s rolling event.
“They walk up that beautiful green lawn and see the amazing view of Canberra, then they fall to their knees and roll down the hill.
“This simple fun action embodies a very simple yet powerful symbol of democracy.”
Mr Yao notes that a 2.6m fence is scheduled to be installed at the base of the hill from early next year. If you can’t make it this morning, we strongly recommend you get the family together and head to Parliament for a roll in the next couple of weeks.