To mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of Parliament House, you are invited to a free open day event this Saturday, 11 August 2018.
Parliament House Open Day will feature free tours of Parliament House including a number of areas not usually accessible to the public, free historical themed events and fun activities for all ages including choirs, dancing and school bands with refreshments available to purchase on the Speaker’s Green.
I was invited to a tour of Parliament House last week and it was an amazing experience, definitely one of my most treasured days of being Lady Brisbane. This absolutely breathtaking building is full of beauty, every piece of furniture, painting, stained glass panel and chandelier holds historical significance. Put aside your political preferences and appreciate this majestic building for its beauty and heritage.
The Parliament’s doors will open at 10.15am and visitors are welcome to take a free behind-the-scenes self-guided tour of one of Queensland’s most beautiful and culturally significant buildings.
The following rooms, areas and historic items can be seen as part of the tour route:
the Legislative Assembly Chamber, where Queensland’s Parliament meets
the Legislative Council Chamber, where Queensland’s former upper house met until 1921.
The Legislative Council Chamber features the Governor’s Chair, which is reserved for use by the Queen or her representative, the Governor – and two Waterford crystal chandeliers
the Speaker’s Office
the Premier’s Office
the Cabinet Room
the Members’ Reading Room, the Parliament’s original library
the O’Donovan Library with its heritage listed collection
the Queen Victoria stained-glass window
the Parliament’s original entrance foyer with historic Minton tiles from the 1860s
the grand staircase, and
take a glimpse of the secret staircase, a steep stone set of stairs that led from the back of an office on the ground floor up to the top rear of the Legislative Council Chamber.
Keep an eye out for the Queensland Parliament Mace, The Mace is a symbol of the parliament’s authority via the Speaker which has been derived from the Crown. Designed and constructed in the United Kingdom, the Mace is made from sterling silver with gold plating and contains 32 Queensland gemstones, see if you can identify which gemstones it contains at the Open Day celebrations.
If high tea is an event you enjoy you won’t want to miss the 150 year high tea celebrations at the Parliament House Open Day festivities. I enjoyed high tea last week at Parliament House and the service was exemplary and the scones, I would declare, are possibly the best in Brisbane.
Parliament House’s High Tea events are a Brisbane institution and as part of the Open Day, there will be two High Teas held in the historic ‘Strangers’ Dining Room’. The term “stranger” refers to any person in the parliamentary precinct who is not a Member of the Legislative Assembly. This area is popular with Members and their guests, particularly during busy parliamentary sittings.
You can book your place to attend either the 10.45am or 1.30pm High Tea session online here via the Eventbrite link.
One of my absolute favourite rooms in Parliament House is the breathtaking O’Donovan Library and Collection, named after the most noteworthy librarian Denis O’Donovan, who was the Queensland Parliamentary Librarian from 1874 to 1901. He built the collection to around 32,000 volumes by the time of his retirement. He also catalogued the collection and his dictionary-type catalogue is used to the present day to access the collection which is still housed in its original shelving.
There is no need to book to attend the Parliament House 150 Anniversary Celebrations, just come to Parliament House and enjoy the day’s activities. I encourage you to take advantage of this rare opportunity to walk the corridors of power, I promise you it will be an experience you will remember forever.
I hope you enjoy my postcards from my recent tour of Parliament House and my high tea experience, let me know if you go to the Open Day celebrations, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Parliament House Anniversary Celebrations
Where – Parliament House, cnr George & Alice Sts, Brisbane
When – Saturday, 11 August 2018
Time – 10am to 3pm
Website – www.parliament.qld.gov.au