The doors of Parliament House will open on Sunday 19 March for a community day that explores the next chapter in the evolution of Melbourne’s iconic landmark.

The 2017 Parliament House Open Day will run from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm and entry is free.

The heritage features of our gold rush era building have always been a draw card for Victorians as well as interstate and international visitors.

Our building’s link to national politics is also significant as it served as the first home of the federal parliament until they moved to Canberra in 1927.

But this year our Open Day is focused on the future and the work that is going on to get us there.

Parliament House was built in stages, and with construction of the next major stage under way, Open Day will be an opportunity for people to see the work in progress and speak to parliamentary staff about our future plans.

We will be showcasing the biggest change to Parliament House since the 1920s with displays and a viewing area to observe the construction site for our new annex in the back gardens.

Integrated into the landscape, the new office building has some clever elements that will be of interest to architecture enthusiasts.

There will also be information about the major restoration and renewal works that are being done to make a 19th century grand building functional in the 21st century.

At the same time, we won’t be overlooking our history. The Bolte Desk, used by Victoria’s longest serving Premier, Sir Henry Bolte, and now a feature in the office of current Premier Daniel Andrews, will be on public display in Queen’s Hall.

Tour the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council chambers as well, to experience the atmosphere of the rooms where the laws governing Victoria are debated and voted on.

Our refreshment rooms, a gift from the federal parliament when they departed Melbourne 90 years ago, will also be open and will be serving Devonshire Tea.

All are welcome for what promises to be a popular day in the heart of Melbourne.