Gifts Collection

A significant component of the Parliament House Art Collection is the Gifts Collection. The Gifts Collection includes gifts to the Australian Parliament from:

  • other nations;
  • Australian States and Territories, and
  • national organisations.

The Gifts Collection dates back to Federation, with many older objects transferred from Old Parliament House. Some of the gifts were presented to commemorate Australia’s Bicentenary, and the opening of Parliament House, in 1988. Other gifts have been presented to mark a particular event, or to signify a relationship between nations. Gifts are displayed throughout the building and in the courtyards and gardens outside, including the Queen Victoria Writing Table, the Coats of Arms, and the Chinese lions. You can find out more about these below. Some smaller gifts are on public display in cabinets near the theatre on the first floor of Parliament House.

Queen Victoria Writing Table

Queen Victoria Writing Table

When Queen Victoria gave her assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Bill in 1900, she gave to the Australian Parliament the writing table, pen and inkstand she had used at Windsor Castle. They are on display in Members’ Hall, first floor.

Coat of Arms, Main Entrance. Photograph by DPS Broadcasting.

Coats of Arms

The stainless steel coats of arms at the Main Entrance (north) and Executive Entrance (south) of the building were a gift from the Parliament and people of New South Wales for the opening of the building in 1988. They were created by Robin Blau.

Chinese lion

Chinese lions

The pair of white marble lions in the House of Representatives formal gardens were gifts from the People’s Republic of China to the Government and People of Australia in 1988, for the opening of Parliament House.
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