A place for ‘all those aspirations that are truly national’

The home of civic and cultural activities in the national capital, Albert Hall was opened in 1928, the year after Parliament House. It was Canberra’s concert hall, theatre, exhibition space and the venue for lectures, balls and socials. As the place for civic assembly, it housed congresses, conferences and protest meetings.

Opening the building on 10 March 1928, Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce declared Albert Hall would encourage ‘everything that will uplift the Australian people – a centre from which will radiate all those aspirations that are truly national’ (Canberra Times, 12 March 1928).

What follows is a photo album showing the rich life of Albert Hall between 1927 and 1970. For more information and records about Albert Hall in the National Archives, see Fact Sheet – Albert Hall, Canberra.

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    Construction of Albert Hall, 1927
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    Forestry conference delegates at Albert Hall, 1928
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    Albert Hall with 'Bellona' statue on Commonwealth Avenue, 1929
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    Citizenship convention delegates at the front of Albert Hall, 1955
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    Harold Holt at the Australian Citizenship Convention, 1956
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    Debutantes and their partners take the floor at Albert Hall, 1956
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    Sadlers' Wells Royal Ballet perform at Albert Hall, August 1958
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    Prime Minister Robert Menzies at the Australian Citizenship Convention, 1960
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    Television presenters broadcast federal election results for the first time, 1963
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    The Royal Military College band at the citizenship convention, 1965
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    Young Finnish dancers at a festival celebration in Albert Hall, 1965
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    The first ACT land auction, held at Albert Hall in 1970
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017