Staff Office, Prime Minister’s Suite — M94.1North Wing, Main Floor
This room was used as an office for the Prime Minister’s staff 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 office was used as an ‘open plan’ office for several of the Prime Minister’s secretarial staff. Despite the extra room in the new, larger suite, there was a large number of staff that needed to work in this area and still only limited space. A plan of the furniture layout during Whitlam’s time (in 1973) shows seven desks in this one room, and it is likely that a similar number of staff were accommodated in this room when Fraser and Hawke were in office.