Sitting Room, Speaker of the House of Representatives’ Suite — M82North Wing, Main Floor
This sitting room was part of a suite of rooms that was occupied by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his staff throughout the time the building operated as a working parliament. Many important politicians occupied this suite including the first Speaker at the Provisional Parliament House, Sir Littleton Groom (1926 to 1929), and Joan Child (1986 to 1989) who was the first female Speaker and the last Speaker at the Provisional Parliament House. The Speaker’s most important duty was to preside over and maintain control of debate in the House of Representatives Chamber. Outside the Chamber the Speaker managed the Provisional Parliament House together with the President of the Senate; their large corner suites reflect the status of the two presiding officers. This suite includes offices (for the Speaker and his staff), a dining room, bar, sitting room and bathroom.
The Speaker and the President of the Senate both receive foreign Heads of State and delegations visiting Australia from other nations, and other distinguished visitors to the House of Representatives or Senate. Hospitality for these events is one aspect of the responsibilities of the Speaker’s office. This sitting room, and the adjoining bar and dining room, assisted the Speaker in performing these duties.