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Refrigerator #2004-0045Press Office, North Wing, Upper floor

White enamel coated Freezerator refrigerator.


This 1951 refrigerator was used in the Press Gallery in Provisional Parliament House from the 1950s until 1988. When Parliament moved into Parliament House on Capital Hill in 1988, this fridge was saved from the scrapheap by Warwick Costin, then a writer for The Sunday Telegraph. Costin used this fridge until he donated it to the museum in 2004.

When asked about the history of the refrigerator, Costin said:

‘This ancient appliance, the Freezerator, was originally installed in The Daily Telegraph office in the Press Gallery. That office later included the Nine Network television news room. The fridge was used by journalists, camera crews and teleprinter operators from the 1950s until 1972. More particularly, it stored the milk for Alan Reid’s endless cups of tea. It also allowed snacks or a light meal to be available for those night-shift reporters, who had to cover debates in the House of Representatives or the Senate until the early hours of the morning.

When Sir Frank Packer sold The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph to Rupert Murdoch in 1972, the fridge was transferred by the bureau chief Bob Baudino, who moved up the corridor to lead the newly converged News Limited bureau. It continued as a source of milk and refreshments, although in the 1970s it was affectionately renamed ‘Newsbooze’.

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Statement of values

This refrigerator is significant because of its association with Warwick Costin and the Press Offices and Gallery. The Press Offices have outstanding historic significance because of their association with the evolving nature and composition of the Press Gallery, the press coverage of Parliamentary debates, and, increasingly, of broader party political and executive developments, from 1927 to 1988.

This refrigerator is also 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 parliamentary 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.

  • RefrigeratorRefrigerator — Museum of Australian Democracy collection


Width 655mm
Height 1370mm
Depth 515mm
Medium Metal; timber; electrical components
Creator’s name Freezerator
Date created 1951