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New Parliament House

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Canberra, Australia.

  • Photo of New Parliament House
  • Photo of New Parliament House
Photo of New Parliament House
Photo by flickr user miak
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Recently I travelled to Australia's capital to visit a long time mate and confidante who I regularly communicate with.

With my new found passion for photography, and motto of “capturing moments in time”, I set out to visit two very important icons that are tourism and informational gems of Canberra. New Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial, both of which I have had the pleasure of visiting on numerous occasions on past visits.

My first stop was at New Parliament House, nestled majestically in the heart of Canberra with all roads leading to and from. I continue to be amazed how this modern structure has been built into an actual “hill”, hence getting its title Capital Hill. I understand the reason behind the hill though: being that all Australians have the opportunity to walk from one side to the other over the grassed area that in effect covers the roof of the building, and is highlighted by a towering central flagpole proudly adorning an impressive Australian flag, which marks the central position of the complex.

With its external appearance being most impressive, walking inside the public entrance to Parliament House opens the door to many of Australia’s political icons, the history and daily working Mecca of Australian politics. This is the engine room of Australian political decision making, and its interior design, architectural displays, and comprehensive educational journey prove a “not to be missed” attraction for both Australians and foreigners wanting to experience the day to day workings of our Political system. The Grand Entrance Foyer is adorned with towering marble pillars, and staircases leading off on either side to various chambers and rooms of interest throughout the building. The impressive GRAND BALLROOM can be entered from the main foyer and has laid host to many functions involving the worlds highest dignitaries, and political leaders.

Exploring further, you can enter into the decision-making hotspots such as the House of Representatives and the Senate and on associated days, you can see Australia’s political leaders “in the flesh” sitting in parliamentary session and you are able to join the public gallery to spectate. In the area occupying the building between the House of Reps and The Senate, is a large museum-like open gallery, displaying artworks and historical memorabilia, with portraits of every Australian Prime Minister adorning the walls, and a running history lesson on the development of the Australian Parliament from its inception.

On leaving the front entrance, the view you are presented with just highlights the precise planning that went into placement of this building in relation to Canberra’s other iconic attractions. Looking ahead, your eyes are directed along a straight parade of perfectly aligned flagpoles and trees, which is half way along occupied by Old Parliament House and then leading up towards the hills in the distance, the Australian War Memorial. This far-reaching parade is appropriately named “ANZAC” parade and along its extremities, has many monuments and memorials honouring the many wars and lives lost fighting for Australia by Australians. The view is of perfect symmetry and is a credit to the urban planners of Canberra who have managed to capture three of the nation's iconic places and link them with such a powerful avenue of history and reflection. A definite photo opportunity and something to take a moment and savoir.

Written by  Matt Palmer.

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