House of Representatives Chamber

Sit in the same seats where some of the most important decisions about Australia were made. 

Location

Main floor

Some of the rowdiest and most dramatic scenes in Australia’s political history took place in this chamber.

Walk in the footsteps of previous prime ministers and sit in the same seats where secret sessions were held during the worst days of the Second World War, where conscription was introduced and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser battled for power in 1975. 

This black and white photograph depicts the House of Representatives Chamber partway through construction. The horseshoe shape of the chamber seating is visible in the timber framework. The public gallery is partly constructed and westerly light pours through the high windows. There are timber frames and a ladder against the back wall of the chamber. In the right foreground, a lone construction worker sits between the timber floor beams, reading a newspaper and smoking a pipe.

A lone builder sits on the partly constructed floor of the House of Representatives chamber reading the paper, 1926. Photograph by William J Mildenhall, NAA A3560, 1344



‘The thing about the old chamber was its intimacy; it brought out the best in the orators, people like John Howard and Paul Keating could really dominate that space.’

- Ross Peaker, former Canberra Times journalist


A row of desks in a U shape with green leather.


A close up of a layout of the House of Representatives Chamber with red lights representing each person in the chamber and black and black labels with names.


A close up detail shot of the table in the House of Representatives Chamber covered with leather bound books, a mace and 2 chests.


Plan your visit

There are some small steps into the chamber. There are some areas of the room that are not accessible to wheelchair users.

You can sit in the leather seats.