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Encyclopedia > Government House, Canberra
Government House from the lookout on Lady Denman Drive
Government House from the lookout on Lady Denman Drive

Government House, Canberra, commonly known as Yarralumla, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia, located in the suburb of Yarralumla, Canberra. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 1. ... // An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ... Yarralumla is a large inner south suburb of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ...


The house is set in 54 hectares of parkland. The suburb of Yarralumla, which has grown up around Government House, is one of Canberra's most expensive and exclusive areas, and is the site of many foreign embassies.


At Government House, the Governor-General presides over meetings of the Federal Executive Council, holds ceremonies to present honours such as the Order of Australia, receives visiting heads of state and other dignitaries and the credentials of ambassadors to Australia, and entertains people from all walks of life. It was in his study at Yarralumla that Sir John Kerr dismissed Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister of Australia on November 11, 1975. The Federal Executive Council is the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian Constitution. ... Insignia of a Companion of the Order of Australia. ... Sir John Robert Kerr, AK, GCMG, GCVO (24 September 1914 – 24 March 1991), 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and 18th Governor-General of Australia, dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975, marking the climax of one of the most significant... Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (, pronounced Goff), is an Australian former politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Australia's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, stays at Government House when she visits Canberra, as do visiting heads of state. Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...

Contents

Yarralumla

Between the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 and 1927, the Australian government was located in Melbourne, and the official residence of the Governor-General (the representative of the Crown in Australia) was Government House, Melbourne. When Canberra was designated as the site of the future capital of Australia in 1913, the Federal Government bought "Yarralumla," a large brick house built by the Campbell family in 1891, for use as a permanent "Government House". Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... Government House, Melbourne Government House, Melbourne is the office and official residence of the Governor of Victoria. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Because of the First World War and post-war economies, however, the government did not actually move to Canberra until 1927, and it was only then that the Governor-General began to use Yarralumla. Between 1927 and 1930 the Governor-General continued to be based at Government House, Melbourne, and stayed at Yarralumla only when the Parliament of Australia was sitting. “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The main entrance to Parliament House in Canberra, with the flag mast visible. ...


In 1930 the government, as an economy measure during the Great Depression, returned Government House, Melbourne, to the state government of Victoria, and Yarralumla became the Governor-General's only official residence. Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first Governor-General to live there permanently. Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... “VIC” redirects here. ... Sir Isaac Isaacs Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs, KBE, PC (6 August 1855 - 12 February 1948) Australian judge and politician, was the ninth Governor-General of Australia, the first Jew, and the first Australian to occupy that post. ...


History

Walter Burley Griffin included a Government House in his plan for Canberra, which was to be placed in the government precinct with a vista to the lake but, as with so much of his plan for the city, practicalities intervened. Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin, in Sydney in 1930 Walter Burley Griffin (November 24, 1876 - February 11, 1937) was an American architect and landscape architect best known for his role in designing Canberra, Australias capital city. ...


The original house was owned and built by the Campbell family, also owned “Duntroon”, which is now the Royal Military College. In 1891, Frederick Campbell demolished most of the old stone-built Yarralumla homestead, which had been occupied by the inter-related Murray and Gibbes families from the 1830s right through to the early 1880s. (Augustus Gibbes had sold Yarralumla to Frederick Campbell in 1881 for 40,000 pounds.) Campbell then had a red brick three-story double-gabled house built to replace the homestead, which was partially demolished. (Campbell borrowed money from Gibbes to help pay for the project.) In 1899, Campbell razed what was left of the homestead, replacing it with a smaller brick building. The shearing shed built by the Campbell remains, near the banks of the Molongolo River, below the Scrivener Dam. This is a disambiguation page; if one followed a link here, one might want to adjust that link. ... Molonglo River at Acton in 1920 Black swans on Molonglo River. ... Scrivener Dam, in Canberra, Australia, was engineered to withstand a once-in-5000-years flood Scrivener Dam, in Canberra, Australia, was engineered to withstand a once-in-5000 years flood. ...


After the Commonwealth Government decided to use the house as a temporary residence for the Governor-General, another three-storey block was built behind the existing one and a new entrance was then constructed on the south front. A stable block was built to the west of the house and cottages built for staff. Since the 1920s the house has been extended and renovated several times, but the basic structure of the 1891 house can still be seen on the south front.


Lord Stonehaven was the first Governor-General to live in the house, after the opening of the new provisional Parliament House (now Old Parliament House) in 1927. The house remained small, particularly when compared to Government House in Melbourne, and successive Governors-General and their wives complained about the house’s inadequacies as a place for official entertaining. Plans for a permanent and more substantial residence were never implemented, as a consequence of the Great Depression and Second World War. For other persons named John Baird, see John Baird (disambiguation). ... Old Parliament House today Opening of Parliament House in May 1927 Old Parliament House, formerly known as the Provisional Parliament House, was the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. ...


In 1927, Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) stayed in the house when they visited Canberra to open the Provisional Parliament House. Prior to their visit, extensive changes were undertaken to ensure the building was suitable for their visit, which were overseen by the Commonwealth Architect, John Smith Murdoch. George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. ... Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite; 4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002), was the Queen Consort of King George VI of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 1936 until his death in 1952. ... John Smith Murdoch, born in Glasgow, Scotland, was the chief architect for the Commonwealth of Australia from 1919, responsible for designing many government buildings in Australia. ...


The interiors of the house, along with much of their furniture, were originally designed by Ruth Lane Poole of the Federal Capital Commission in keeping with the prevailing stripped-classical style, with more formal interiors for the official entertaining rooms, and a lighter scheme in the private residential rooms. Poole was also responsible for the interiors of The Lodge, the official Canberra residence of the Prime Minister. The Australiana Fund has provided furniture, artworks and other objects of national significance for use in the house. The Federal Capital Commission (FCC) was a body of the Australian government formed to construct and administer Canberra from 1925. ...


A private sitting room was built in 1933 at the request of Lady Isaacs over the south entrance porch, which looks south across the gardens to the Brindabella Ranges and the foothills of the Australian Alps beyond.


In 1939, the house was extensively renovated and expanded in the stripped classical style typical of Canberra’s early public buildings to a design by EH Henderson, Chief Architect of the Works and Services Branch of the Department of Interior. By the late 1930s, when Lord Gowrie lived in the house, it was not regarded large enough for the demands made of it. The 1899 extension was demolished and a new south front erected. The drawing room was made larger, more bedrooms were built on the second storey and a State Entrance was built on the northern side. Further alterations to the existing building were also made, adding a nursery on the third-storey and extending the dining. Brigadier-General Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, VC, GCMG, CB, DSO, PC (6 July 1872 – 2 May 1955), tenth Governor-General of Australia, was born in Windsor, Berkshire, the second son of the 8th Lord Ruthven of Freeland. ...


These changes were spurred by the proposed appointment of George V’s fourth son, the Duke of Kent, as Governor-General, and were completed in time for the arrival in 1944 of his elder brother the Duke of Gloucester, who eventually took up the appointment after the Duke of Kent’s death in 1942. George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was the first British monarch belonging to the House of Windsor, which he created from the British branch of the German House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. ... The Prince George, Duke of Kent (George Edward Alexander Edmund) (20 December 1902–25 August 1942) was a member of the British Royal Family, the fourth son of King George V. He held the title of Duke of Kent from 1934 to his death in 1942. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (Henry William Frederick Albert; 31 March 1900 – 10 June 1974) was a member of the British Royal Family, the third son of George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary, and thus uncle to Elizabeth II. He was appointed regent for his niece... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In the 1990s a new Chancery building, built in a stripped classical style to a design by Roger Pegrum, was constructed to house the offices of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General and the Governor-General’s administrative staff.


Some critics have said that the house lacks distinction, and there have been various proposals to build a new Government House. However, it seems unlikely that it will be ever be replaced.


The House

Government House is situated to the west of Canberra, in the suburb of Yarralumla. It is located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin on a north-south orientation and is reached by Dunrossil Drive. At the entrance to the grounds are gates, decorated with the Royal and Commonwealth coats of arms, and a gatekeeper's cottage. The drive leads to the house through landscaped lawns and gardens. For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... This is a disambiguation page; if one followed a link here, one might want to adjust that link. ... Sunset over Lake Burley Griffin, viewed from the Commonwealth Bridge Lake Burley Griffin is a lake in the centre of Canberra, Australias federal capital city. ...


Government House is made up of a central block, erected by Frederick Campbell in 1891, which was extended in the 1920s. Further additions were made in the 1930s and 1940s. All of these are rendered and painted cream. The roof tiles are green.


The State Entrance to Government House is located on its eastern facade, and is protected by a porte-cochere, within which there is a set of steps leading up to the entrance doors.


Running along the centre of the house is the panelled State Entrance Hall, lined with Australian artworks and furniture, including a study by Sir William Dargie for the so-called “Wattle Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth II of Australia and a study for a portrait, again by Dargie, of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Sir William Dargie, (1912-2003) Australian painter, known especially for his portrait paintings. ... Elizabeth II in an official portrait as Queen of Canada (on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002, wearing the Sovereigns badges of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) (born 21 April 1926), styled HM The... “Prince Philip” redirects here. ...


Official ceremonies, such as the swearing-in of ministers, presentation of honours and receptions take place in the Drawing Room, which is hung with paintings by Australian artists and contains examples of early Australian furniture.


The Drawing Room leads through to the Private Entrance, which is composed of a series of rooms leading from the south façade (with views of the Brindabella Ranges) through to the State Entrance Hall. Again, these are hung with paintings by Australian artists and contain antique Australian furniture. Brindabella Ranges is a mountain range and the name of a valley in Australia. ...


Beyond the Private Entrance are a morning room and a small dining room. The small dining room contains a series of paintings by Indigenous Australian artists. These rooms lead back to the State Entrance Hall.


On the lakefront side of the house is the State Dining Room, which has a large bay window overlooking Lake Burley Griffin and leads out onto a terrace. Also on the ground floor, and overlooking the Lake, are the Governor-General’s Study, where the Governor-General works and receives visitors, along with a sitting room and a vestibule leading to a number of offices and service rooms. Sunset over Lake Burley Griffin, viewed from the Commonwealth Bridge Lake Burley Griffin is a lake in the centre of Canberra, Australias federal capital city. ...


The upper floors contain the Governor-General’s private residence and guest rooms.


The furnishings and decoration of Government House represent a range of Australian styles, artists and craftspeople, from colonial times to the present day. It also houses a large collection of artworks by Indigenous Australian artists. National institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, and also the Australiana Fund, have lent many of the pieces used in the house. National Gallery of Australia The National Gallery of Australia is a major art gallery (museum) in Canberra, Australia. ... National Library of Australia National Library of Australia as viewed from Lake Burley Griffin The National Library of Australia is located in Canberra, Australia. ...


Artists represented in the house include E. Phillips Fox, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, William Dargie, Margaret Preston, Rupert Bunny, Nicholas Chevalier, W.B. McInnes, Elioth Gruner, Lionel Lindsay, Bertram Mackennal, Hans Heysen, Lloyd Rees, Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, Sydney Nolan, Leonard French, Justin O’Brien, Ray Crooke, John Dowie, Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Margaret Olley, Pro Hart, Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungarrayi, Charlie Tjararu Tjungarrayi and Paddy Japaljarri Sims. Emanuel Phillips Fox (March 12, 1865 - October 8, 1915) was an Australian Naturalist painter. ... Thomas William Roberts (8 March 1856–14 September 1931), usually known simply as Tom, was a famous Australian artist and a key member of the Heidelberg School. ... Arthur Streeton by George Lambert (1917). ... Sir William Dargie, (1912-2003) Australian painter, known especially for his portrait paintings. ... Australia Day Stamp featuring the art of Margaret Preston released by Australia Post in 1996. ... Rupert Bunny (1864-1947) Working for most of his artistic career in Paris, Bunny formed an important tie between Australian painting and French Impressionism. ... Nicholas Chevaliers painting Buffalo Range from the West Nicholas Chevalier (9 May 1828 – 15 March 1902) was an Australian artist who was born in St Petersburg, Russia. ... Elioth Gruner (1882-1939), New Zealand-born Australian Painter, winner of the Wynne Prize seven times. ... Lionel Lindsay, Self portrait, 194?; pen and ink, 17. ... Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, KCVO (June 12, 1863 - October 10, 1931), later known as Bertram Mackennal was an Australian sculptor. ... Cattle Drinking 1915 Sir Hans Heysen (October 8, 1877–July 2, 1968) was a well-known Australian artist. ... A south coast road (1951) by Lloyd Rees, painted at Werri beach Lloyd Frederic Rees (March 17, 1895 – December 2, 1988) Australian landscape painter. ... Fred Williams, (1927-1982) is an Australian painter, known particularly for his landscapes. ... A tapestry which is a greatly enlarged version of Arthur Boyds painting hangs in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd AC OBE (20 July 1920 – 24 April 1999) was a member of the prominent Boyd artistic dynasty in Australia, with many relatives being painters... Sidney Nolan (April 22, 1917 - 28 November 1992) was one of Australias most well-known painters. ... Leonard French, (b. ... Ray Crooke (1922- ), Australian artist born in Melbourne. ... Dr. John Alexander Dowie (*1848; †1907) was a significant Scottish clergyman in U.S.. Dowie was born in Edingburgh und moved to Australia as a boy but returned to Edinburgh to study theology. ... Margaret Olley (1923 - ) is an Australian painter, her work is concentrated on the still life. ... Pro Hart gallery in Broken Hill Kevin Charles Pro Hart, MBE (May 30, 1928 – March 28, 2006), born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, was considered the father of the Australian Outback painting movement and his works are widely admired for capturing the true spirit of the outback. ...


A detailed account of the genesis of Yarralumla appeared in 1988, under the title Gables, Ghosts and Governors-General (edited by C.D. Coulthard-Clark and published by Allen & Unwin, in conjunction with the Canberra & District Historical Society). See also the monograph "Yarralumla: the Gibbes Years" in the Canberra Historical Journal (New Series, Number 48), September 2001, pages 11-31.


Gardens

Extensive landscaped grounds surround the house, and were originally laid out by Charles Weston. Many of the trees in the gardens have been planted by visiting dignitaries. The grounds include extensive plantations of trees and sweeping lawns, which provide vistas towards Black Mountain in the north and the Brindabella Ranges in the south. Thomas Charles George Weston MBE (October 14, 1866 - December 1, 1935) was an Australian horticulturist and was responsible for the afforestation of Canberra. ... Black Mountain is situated close to the central business district of Australias capital city Canberra. ... Brindabella Ranges is a mountain range and the name of a valley in Australia. ...


The Wild or English Garden was laid out by Lady Gowrie, and includes a memorial to the only son of Lord Gowrie who was killed in the Second World War. The design of this garden was influenced by the work of Edna Walling and Paul Sorenson. Other gardens have been laid out by successive Governors-General and their wives. Edna Walling (1895–1973) was one of Australias most influential landscape designers. ...


The lakeside lawn and terraces were developed at the time Lake Burley Griffin was filled in the early 1960s, during the tenure of Lord De L'Isle. Further developments to the terraces were undertaken during the term of Sir Ninian Stephen in the 1980s. William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount De LIsle, VC, KG, GCMG, GCVO, PC (23 May 1909–5 April 1991), 15th Governor-General of Australia, was the last British Governor-General. ... The Rt. ...


A rhododendron garden was laid out in the 1970s by Otto Ruzicka, and is called the "Hasluck Garden" after Sir Paul Hasluck and Dame Alexandra Hasluck. Large numbers of bulbs were planted along the eastern side of the Vista Lawns to the south of the house in the 1990s at the suggestion of Mrs Dallas Hayden, wife of Bill Hayden. Subgenera Azaleastrum Candidastrum Hymenanthes Mumeazalea Pentanthera (Azaleas) Rhododendron Therorhodion Tsutsusi (Azaleas) Vireya Source: RBG, Edinburgh Rhododendron po(from the Greek: rhodos, rose, and dendron, tree) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. ... Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck (1 April 1905 - 9 January 1993), Australian historian, public servant and politician, and 17th Governor-General of Australia, was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, into a family of Salvationists, whose values he retained throughout his career. ... Dame Alexandra Hasluck AD (1908–1993) was an author and social historian in Western Australia. ... William George Hayden AC (born 23 January 1933), Australian politician and 21st Governor-General of Australia, was born in Brisbane, Queensland, the son of an American-born sailor of Irish descent. ...


See also

Government House is the name given to some of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the former British Empire. ... This is a list of Government Houses of Australia. ... Government House is the name usually given to the residence of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the British Empire. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ...

External links


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