150 years of Parliament

During 2005 and 2006 the Parliament of Victoria celebrated the 150th anniversary of the official opening of the first Parliament in Victoria.

The anniversary celebrations began with an official launch on Thursday 17 November 2005 at the regional sittings of the Legislative Assembly in Geelong and the Legislative Council in Colac.

The launch coincided with the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Constitution Act 1855. The Act provided for two Houses of Parliament, a Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly - when Victoria became self-governing.

The celebration culminated on Saturday 25 November 2006, the 150th anniversary of the official opening of Victoria's Parliament House.

The Parliament of Victoria's 150th anniversary featured a series of events and activities that involved all Victorians. The events and activities were held in metropolitan Melbourne as well as regional centres to promote and celebrate the diverse history and democratic function of our Parliament. Highlights included:

  • A state-wide travelling exhibition: 'Bills Bells & Ballots - 150 years of Victoria's Parliament'
  • An exhibition of petitions presented to the Parliament: 'And your petitioners humbly pray...150 years of petitions in Victoria' - Parliament House
  • An Open Garden Day - Parliament House
  • A cartoon exhibition Drawn on the issues: '150 years of state political cartoons'
  • A celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the secret ballot
  • A re-enactment of the 21 April 1856 march of building workers from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the eight hour day
  • The first public lecture by the Chair of Victorian State Parliamentary Democracy, Professor Brian Costar, 'Freedom and Diversity: Real Challenges to Democracy'
  • NAIDOC Week Indigenous Art Exhibition, Parliament House.

The website from the 150th celebrations is archived in Pandora.