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Parliament House Turns Twenty

By S4anta - 8 May 2008 44

The achillies heel of the Fairfax conglomerate, The Sydney Morning Herald is all
hugs and kisses about the The Parliament House turning twenty this Friday.

That got me thinking about my early memories of the place. I can remember wandering around the House on the Hill as it was created watching fat tradies in far too little clothes play with ever so large machines cutting concrete or watching my mates and I throw stuff at the other workers. In fact, that description sounds alot like how it was when i actually worked there, instead I was throwing poo at the citizens of Australia on behalf of various drunken Members of Parliament.

So dear readers what was your earliest memory of the House, and what do you want to see happen to it in its next 20 years. I have always thought that as they have now stopped people wandering up the top of it, they could always plant a bunch of daffodil bulbs in the grass slopes making it look just that little bit more inviting around this time of year. Your thoughts?

[Ed. We also got the following in from Holden Caufield]

This Friday (9 May) marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of Parliament House, and subsequently will be 107 years since Australia’s Parliament first sat (IIRC). This Saturday there will be a Parliament House Open Day for ‘working families’ and everyone else to enjoy. I’ll be going along for a gander as I’ve only ever seen what is open to the public. I’ve had a couple of stints at living in the Canberra region and the the gap in the middle was largely when Parliament House was getting built. There was a great thread on here last year where people shared their memories of various government buildings around the city, it would be great if people could again share their memories and experiences of Parliament House during and after construction.

In the meantime information on the Open Day can be found on the website.

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Parliament House Turns Twenty
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Ozhair 11:58 am 12 May 08

Gungahlin Al said :

The staff and security were great, with one guy on the camera gear of particular note for great patience showing my 7yo boy how to control all the gear.

Thanks, Al. I just passed your comment on to the two guys who were working the display (since I’m not sure which one you were referring too, but they’re both pretty patient blokes 🙂 )

Holden Caulfield 11:28 am 12 May 08

The missus and I went along on Saturday morning. We arrived just after 9am and managed to get through and see what we could without too much bother (we kept clear of the Great Hall). By the time we left at about 11am the place was just packed!

I enjoyed it. Thanks and happy birthday to Parliament House. From an outsider’s point of view, it’s a superb building. 🙂

Gungahlin Al 2:11 pm 11 May 08

Well it was a good day at APH Saturday (and a beautiful day all round actually).
Tapdogs put on a great (and loud!) show in Kings Hall.
The water feature out front looked great with water back in it.
The staff and security were great, with one guy on the camera gear of particular note for great patience showing my 7yo boy how to control all the gear.Only sour point was as mentioned above – the woeful catering in the staff cafeteria.

On the “cathedral”, I talked with a staff photographer there and she said it is indeed a wonderful sight, as the honeycomb concrete that you see in the carpark goes right through that area. She said that she has photos from in there, and if RA were to email the Reps Speaker’s office, it may be possible to get copies sent for the site.

BenMac 7:11 pm 09 May 08

As far as I know it’s the Hyatt. They do the cafes for pretty much all the tourist attractions in Canberra. Not much competition there I’m afraid.

Yes the Hyatt have the contract for all catering in Parliament House, up until the 30th June. They lost both contracts, so now the Queens Terrace Cafe and Staff Dining Room with be run by the same company who run the Lobby Resturant next to the OPH and the Banquets/Members Dining/Room Service will be run by Intercontinential Hotels Group who cater the Convention Centre.

For the open day they’ll be opening the Staff Dining Room to the public due the volume of visitors expected. I’ve been told previous years open days have seen upwards of 15,000 people come through, so with this being the 20th year I’m expecting more than that. Good luck parking.

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