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Official launch of the Bicentenary program

Official launch of the Bicentenary program

​The word is out! On Tuesday 18 October 2022, an exciting program of events commemorating the Bicentenary of the NSW Legislative Council was officially launched by the Governor of NSW - and Patron of the Bicentenary - Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC.

The Bicentenary's wide range of activities will unfold over the next two years, leading up to and throughout 2024. The program of events will offer the community the chance to engage with and learn about the state's rich parliamentary history, as well as the evolution of democracy in Australia over the last two hundred years.

Find a list of the upcoming Bicentenary events here, with more details to be added as they become available.

"The establishment in 1823 of the Legislative Council as the first legislative body in Australia was to have defining and profound impacts. In celebrating the Bicentenary of the Legislative Council, we celebrate its role in our parliamentary democracy, as required by section 5 of the NSW Constitution: 'to make laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of NSW, in all cases whatsoever'."
- Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC


Discover what the official Bicentenary program of events has in store with this video narrated by President of the Legislative Council Matthew Mason-Cox:



Take a peek at the official Bicentenary program launch in this video overview:


Watch the full launch speech delivered by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC:
A copy Her Excellency's speech can be read here.


See what President of the Legislative Council Matthew Mason-Cox had to say at the launch event (including his introduction to Her Excellency and subsequent overview of the Bicentenary program): 


As part of his address, President Mason-Cox officially named the group of eminent Australians who have agreed to serve as Bicentenary Ambassadors over 2023 and 2024. These Ambassadors will help connect the community with the messages and events of the Bicentenary program, and include (in alphabetical order by surname):

  • Joy Beames – President of the NSW Country Women's Association
  • Ita Buttrose AC, OBE – Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Alan Jones AO – renowned broadcaster.
  • John McFarlane OBE – Chairman and Independent Non-executive Director of Westpac
  • Emily Milton Smith – State Commissioner and Chair of Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT
  • Vickie Parry – Co-chair of the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Regional Alliances (NCARA) and Executive Director of the Barang Regional Alliance
  • Professor Mark Scott AO – Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sydney
  • Lang Walker AO – Founder and Executive Chairman of Walker Corporation.

NSW Parliament was honoured to host more than 350 guests for the launch of the official Bicentenary program, who gathered to learn more about the history of the Legislative Council and to help us look forward to the compelling events that lie ahead. Among those in attendance were a number of Bicentenary Ambassadors and esteemed members from across the community. Click the images to see in full size. Photography by Andy Baker.

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