Skip to the content
Content starts here

Telephone Extension that was used by Bob Hawke #2001-0291-2Prime Minister’s Office, North Wing, Main Floor

Small cream plastic telephone extension, with eight rows of nine programmable keys on faux timber panelling.


This telephone extension was used by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in the Prime Minister’s office (M94.13) at the Provisional Parliament House. It was part of a set of phones donated to the museum by Neil Baker, who worked as a telephone technician at the building for nearly twenty years from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. During this period he collected telephones that he was asked to remove/replace in the building. These telephones range from the public ones used in the reception area to ones belonging to specific people. The museum also has the accompanying telephone for this switchboard in its collection. Baker recalled that every incoming Prime Minister asked for two things as soon as he took over the office: for his desk to be moved and for a new phone. This at times created considerable cabling issues, as the extensions which created the new Prime Minister’s office in 1972-73 had limited capacity for cabling alterations: in the end he had the carpet taken up during one recess and holes drilled in the floor at one metre intervals.

Show Statement of values
Hide Statement of values

Statement of values

This telephone extension used by Prime Minster Bob Hawke (1983 to 1991) is a significant item in the collection through its association with Hawke and with the Prime Minister’s suite which has strong and special associations for the former parliamentary users of the building and was also a focus of government activity and authority.

This telephone switchboard is also significant as part of the collection of telephones donated to the museum by Neil Baker. This collection represents a significant survey of the types of technology used in the building over the period 1950s-80s. It is also significant as it illustrates working life in the Provisional Parliament House.

This telephone switchboard is significant as a component of the Heritage Collection, which comprises those objects which were used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1924 and 1988. The collection has associations with the process of government, the ceremonial, administrative, promotional and recreational functions conducted within the building, and with the individuals who governed Australia between 1927 and 1988. The Old Parliament House building has a richness of internal fabric and collections, which include the purpose designed furniture and furnishings, that convey the way in which parliamentary functions were conducted, the everyday use of the building, and the hierarchical nature of parliamentary staffing practices.

  • Telephone and Telephone Extension that was used by Bob HawkeTelephone and Telephone Extension that was used by Bob Hawke —
  • Telephone Extension that was used by Bob HawkeTelephone Extension that was used by Bob Hawke —


Width 195mm
Height 90mm
Depth 210mm
Medium Plastic; electrical components; metal
Creator’s name Telecom Commander
Date created Unknown