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Dressing Room, Prime Minister’s Suite — M602North Wing, Main Floor

This room was used as a dressing room for the Prime Minister in the Prime Minister’s suite.

This room is situated in the northeast corner of the Provisional Parliament House, an area that was occupied by the Prime Minister and his staff throughout the life span of the building. The original suite of rooms was occupied by fourteen of the Australian Prime Ministers, from Stanley Melbourne Bruce (Prime Minister from 1923-1929) to William McMahon (Prime Minister from 1971-1972). In 1972, due to a growing number of Ministers and staff in the building, the suite was demolished. New offices (for the Prime Minister and his staff), an anteroom (used for press conferences and as a waiting room) and bathrooms for the Prime Minister and his staff were built in its place. These particular rooms were only occupied by three Prime Ministers: Gough Whitlam (Prime Minister from 1972-1975), Malcolm Fraser (Prime Minister from 1975-1983) and Bob Hawke (Prime Minister from 1983-1991).

This room was used as an area where the Prime Minister could prepare himself for press interviews. In the late 1990s, staff members at the museum found a selection of objects in a drawer in this room including hair dye, shoelaces, and eye-care paraphernalia. These items had been left there when the Australian Parliament relocated in 1988, linking them with the last Prime Minister to occupy this suite of rooms, Bob Hawke. They remain in the museum’s collection.