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Steps - Dais, Wood, Melbourne, Australia, 1901 Object Reg. No: SH 000998

These dais steps were used at the opening of the First Commonwealth Parliament of Australia at the Exhibition Building, Carlton, on 9 May 1901. They led up to the official podium, upon which the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York and the Earl and Countess of Hopetoun stood. The steps have traces of brown paint on them, but for Federation, they were covered in carpet.

After Federation, the steps were souvenired by the carpenter who built the dais and steps for the Opening of Federal Parliament, John Westwood. He installed them at the rear of his home in Ascot Vale. In 1936 this house was sold to the Camp family; in contrast to their original purpose, the re-located steps became the Camp children's main entrance into the house. A visit to the Camp family by John Westwood's grandson brought the original use of the steps to light, so when the house was sold by the Camp family in the late 1990s, the steps were removed and donated to Museum Victoria.
Four steps, with solid side supports. The sides have been painted brown, as have the uprights and borders of each step. Strips of non-slip fabric line the front edge of each step.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms & Mr Beryl & Russell Camp
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 102.00 cm (Height), 145.00 cm (Width), 256.00 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: 256cm wide at bottom step, 92cm wide at top step

More information

Tagged with: australian federation 1901, celebrations, civic mementoes, housing, royal exhibition building, souvenirs, making history - federation
Themes this item is part of: Royal Exhibition Building Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Federation
Tertiary Classification: fittings
Maker: Mr John Westwood, Victoria, Australia, 1901
Place & Date Made: Australia, 1901
Place & Date Used: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1901

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