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Pantry and Kitchen, President of the Senate’s Suite — M13.6North Wing, Main Floor

This room was used as a pantry and kitchen in the President of the Senate’s suite. It was primarily used to store and plate up meals cooked in the main kitchens, rather than as an autonomous kitchen unit.

This suite of rooms was occupied by the President and his staff throughout the life span of the building. The President is the Presiding Officer in the Senate and is elected in a secret ballot by fellow Senators. The President of the Senate has administrative responsibilities for the Department of the Senate and is responsible for managing proceedings, maintaining order in the Senate and upholding the Standing Orders. The ceremonial duties of the President of the Senate include participation in the opening of Parliament and visits by foreign Heads of State and receiving delegations visiting Australia from other nations, and other distinguished visitors to the Senate. Hospitality for these events is one aspect of the responsibilities of the President’s office. The kitchen and pantry were required as part of the Site refurbishment to support these duties.

This suite included offices (for the President of the Senate, the Clerk of the Senate, and their staff), a dining room, waiting room, kitchens, bathrooms and a change room. The suite was also made available to important visitors such as Queen Elizabeth II and the Governor-General when they visited the Provisional Parliament House. As a whole the suite demonstrates the importance of the President’s position as well as the responsibilities of this role, such as chairing meetings and committees and entertaining important guests and dignitaries.