Museum of Australian Democracy

This year, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD) takes you back to the 1980s. Vivid illustrations by artist Nordacious (James Hillier) brings to life the untold stories of five workers who were indispensable to this bustling Parliament House.

Old Parliament House was at the centre of a dynamic period in Australian politics, shaping an exciting chapter in the nation’s history. It was the heyday of Hawke, Keating and Howard. In the House of Representatives sat Australia’s first woman speaker, Joan Child and in the Senate, Susan Ryan was working hard to introduce the influential 1984 Sex Discrimination Act. But there were many others who played a part in taking democracy to the people.

Become immersed in the worlds of the Serjeant-at-Arms and the Clerk of the Senate who supported the Presiding Officers and parliamentarians and kept the chambers running like clockwork. Imagine life for the telephonist, juggling phone calls for this bustling building in a world with few mobiles. The librarian, in charge of a vast repository of knowledge where politicians turned for their research when computers weren’t commonplace and public internet was yet to be invented. And spare a thought for the chamber attendant, looking after the needs of an ever-growing body of MPs.

Come experience a very special night at the museum – enjoy the illuminations and join us for an immersive choose-your-own-adventure that takes you back to working life in the 1980s in this building. History has never been so bodacious.