Museum of Australian Democracy
Old Parliament House
The Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House. Sound Exciting? No. Not Really! How wrong could we be?
Going to the Museum of Australian Democracy at 9am on a Sunday morning was not an adventure myself and the children were excited about, however, ‘the man of the house’ had fond memories of visiting Canberra on his Grade 6 school camp and was eager to revisit the ‘Old Parliament House’ which was the ‘current Parliament House’ back in 1984 when Mr Bob Hawke was the leader of our country. Old Parliament House opened in 1927 and served as the home Federal Parliament until 1988.
Our trip to the museum ended up being one of our most memorable and enjoyable attractions to visit during our 8 day stay in Canberra. We had a fantastic time! Although guided tours were available we opted to self-tour the building. We sat in the Upper & Lower House, pretended to be part of the frenzied media in the balcony, became radio announcers interviewing Bob Hawke, and dressed up a lot! We dressed up as journalists, princesses, queens, the ‘speaker’, nurses, miners, historical children and more. We relived the ‘sounds’ & ‘news’ of the era, sat in the ‘now humble’ Prime Ministers ‘office’, and looked at ‘historical items’ such as typewriters. I was beginning to feel ‘old’ as I remembered much of the news of the era and when the children asked me what a typewriter was and how does the paper go in the typewriter I realised times had changed a aplenty since I was a child. After coearsing the children out of the ‘radio’ exhibition we found our way to the “Hands on Democracy:Make, Play” Exhibition. Here we dressed up in Royal Gowns and wore beautiful crowns in preparation to meet the Queen of England, ‘rode’ a chariot and dressed up as miners.
Finally, we finished our ‘tour’ at the Activity & Discovery Exhibition where the children designed a town and wrote on a leaf to ‘have their say’ on Australian Democracy.
Overall, the museum of Australian Democracy is a wonderfully fun and educational place to take the children. With the majority of the exhibitions ‘hands-on’, the children enjoyed feeling, touching and reliving Australian history. This was one of the highlights of our visit to Canberra and at $5 for the whole family is incredible Family Value.
For all the latest information on current and upcoming exhibitions follow this link.