Prime Minister's Desk 1927-1972
Prime Minister's Desk 1927-1972

Investigate the links between a desk and Australian prime ministers from 1927 to 1972 and use these insights to create a new design. Resources include a prime minister's desk and a timeline of Australian prime ministers.

What does an object say about the person who uses it, and the period in which it was used?


Who were the prime ministers who used this desk?

Based on your research, what were some of the decisions which could have been made at this desk?

Why do you think this desk was replaced with a new one in 1972?


John Howard chose to use this desk in the new Parliament House when he became the prime minister in 1996. Consider what reasons he may have had for wanting to use this particular desk?

Create a list of your own special objects that may connect you with another person or time. Why are these significant or important to you? Compare your list with those created by others in your class, how are they similar or different?


Imagine you are the current prime minister of Australia. Compile a list of the desk equipment you require to complete your job.

Now compile a list of objects that Prime Minister Stanley Bruce might have had on his desk in 1927.

Consider the changes in technology that have occurred over time and whether these also reflect any changing prime ministerial duties. 


Examine the style of this prime minister's desk. Consider its size, shape and materials used. 

What do you think the designer of this desk was trying to say about the role and status of its user?

Design a desk for our current prime minister, taking into account our current work environment. What does your design communicate about the role and status of its user?

and see Australian Prime Ministers

Australian Curriculum v8.1 

Civics and Citizenship – Years 7, 9, 10

History – Year 10

Visual Arts – Years 7-10


Museum of Australian Democracy