Senate Chamber Swivel Hansard Chair #1999-1851Senate Chamber, North Wing, Main Floor
Blackwood swivel chair; over sprung seat and back, upholstered in red leather on central timber screw column; raised on four angled plain supports.
The Hansard swivel chair is still located in the Senate Chamber where it was used by Hansard Reporters between 1927 and 1988. This chair was designed in 1927 by the Federal Capital Commission Architects Department, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for the Provisional Parliament House. Murdoch’s design for this chair and the other Chamber furniture was inspired by the Westminster system of Parliament and the green and red colours of the two Chambers reflect the colour scheme of the lower and upper houses in Britain. This revolving chair and the majority of the ceremonial furniture in both Chambers were built by Beard Watson & Co Ltd.
This chair was used by Hansard Reporters in the Senate Chamber when Parliament was in session. The term ‘Hansard’ refers to the transcripts of the speeches given in the Commonwealth Parliament and comes from Thomas Hansard, a publisher who printed the reports of the proceedings in the British House of Commons in the early 19th Century. As it was the official account of proceedings it was important to record all that was said when Parliament was in session and to ensure that the transcripts were factual and complete.
A team of nine Parliamentary Reporters was assigned to the Senate Chamber when it was in session. Each reporter had a five or ten minute shift recording the proceedings in the Chamber. During their shift, the reporter would sit on a stool (1999-1423) at the end of the large table (1999-1431) in the centre of the room. They would record everything that was said in shorthand (an abbreviated writing method), using paper and pen. This chair was placed next to the stool at the central table. The Principal Parliamentary Reporter or other senior staff sat in this chair. They would check note some turns and keep other notes as well, particularly interjections, as these could often be difficult to hear and record.
|Medium||Blackwood; leather; timber; textile|
|Creator’s name||Federal Capital Commission Architects Department|