Parliament House turns 30 with a big party

‘Happy Birthday Parliament House, 2018’, by Ken Done.

NEXT week on May 9 it will be 30 years since the opening of Australian Parliament House in 1988.

To celebrate this milestone, Ken Done created a very big birthday cake to help light up the House on the Hill, but there’ll be much more this Saturday, May 5, when House staff are throwing a birthday celebration with lots of free community events.

From 10.30am, veteran political “insider” Barrie Cassidy will host a discussion with a panel of guests sharing their stories about the building – from the political to the personal – as they reflect on the first 30 years of the “People’s House”.

Speakers will include chancellor of the ANU, Gareth Evans, age discrimination commissioner Kay Patterson, journalist Michelle Grattan, artist and arts advocate Robyn Archer and the former director of construction for the New Parliament House, David Chandler.

From 2pm, Canberra Symphony Orchestra will perform music by some of Australia’s most celebrated composers including Percy Grainger, Graham Koehne, Elena Kats-Chernin and Paul Paviour, who composed the musical score for the official opening of Parliament House.

Visitors will also be treated to the world premiere of a new work by award-winning Canberra composer and pianist Sally Greenaway, from 2pm.

Australian Parliament House celebration, Saturday, May 5. All welcome. Free exhibitions and tours are also available to the public throughout the day. No bookings required. The Queen’s Terrace Café will be open from 9am to 4.30pm on the day.

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