Australian Historical Art Fund & Heritage Government Residences

The Lodge

The Lodge

The Lodge in Canberra is situated within 1.8 hectares of grounds and is traditionally the principal residence of the Prime Minister of Australia. The name 'The Lodge' was first used in the mid 1920s by the Federal Capital Commission.

The Lodge was built during 1926/27 by Australian craftsmen using local materials to a design by Melbourne architects Percy A Oakley and Stanley T Parkes at a total cost of £28,319. The plan incorporated a 2.8 hectare site with lawns, flowers, fruit and vegetable gardens, orchards, a tennis court and a croquet lawn. Included in the cost was the decoration and furnishing under the supervision of interior designer Ruth Lane-Poole.

Prime Minister Stanley Bruce and his wife Mrs Ethel Bruce were the first occupants of The Lodge, moving in on 4 May 1927. Subsequent occupants adapted the property to suit their needs and tastes. Prime Minister James Scullin refused to live at The Lodge, seeing it as being too grand, whilst Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, Mrs Enid Lyons and their six children were the first family to reside there in 1931-1938. In the 1960s, Prime Minister John Gorton added a courtyard and swimming pool, while Mrs Gorton established a large native garden. Between 1969-1970 the grounds were reduced by 1.8 hectares when Adelaide Avenue was widened.

The Australiana Fund recognizes the importance of representing not only Australia’s historic traditions, but also our modern culture. Examples of this can be seen in several commissions by contemporary artists and craftspeople; such as an Australian red cedar display cabinet by local designer Neil Scobie and a bronze sculpture by Inge King.

Among the artworks on loan to The Lodge by The Australiana Fund, there are objects with Prime-Ministerial and historic provenance such as an earthenware jug resembling Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and Sir Henry Parkes’ campaign secretaire.

The Lodge - leftThe Lodge - right