Heritage Places of Adelaide

South Australian Old and New Parliament Houses


North Terrace, Adelaide


National Heritage Place

The South Australian Old and New Parliament Houses are significant for their association with the enfranchisement of men and women in the nineteenth century. Full adult manhood suffrage, notably including Aboriginal men, was first granted in an Australian colony in South Australia in 1856, and this may have been the first time this voting right was granted anywhere in the world. The first elections using a fully secret ballot were also held here the following year. Women, again notably including Aboriginal women, were given the vote in 1894 in South Australia, and at the same time were allowed to stand for parliament. South Australia was the first Australian colony, and one of the first jurisdictions worldwide, to give women the vote. It was the first jurisdiction in the world to allow women to stand for parliament. The rights granted in South Australia were subsequently introduced in the other Australian colonies/states (however, it was many years before Aboriginal enfranchisement issues were resolved). South Australia strongly influenced the granting of voting and standing rights to women in federal elections in 1902.

Listing Information

  • Date of Listing: 26 January 2006
  • Heritage Listing Criteria:

    Criteria A: the place has outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the place's importance in the course, or pattern, of Australia's natural or cultural history

Disclaimer: The content in the Heritage Places of Adelaide database has been adapted from the SA Government’s South Australian Heritage Register, made available via the Data SA website under a Creative Commons licence. See: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/sa-heritage-places.

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