Black and white image of the ballroom interior

6 Apr, 2020

The Ballroom

For 121 years, the Ballroom has played a significant role in the community and is today an important facility in the Governor’s mission to advance the objectives of those building the State’s future.

History

The Ballroom was completed in 1899. The project for the Ballroom and the South Wing of the House were signed by the Principal Government Architect, John Grainger, but the designs are known to have been done by Hillson Beasley.

The original design was meant to have a promenade roof with glass overlooking the dance floor below. The roof instead is standard pitched roof with slate – though slate was eventually replaced with Bristile clay tiles in the early 1950s. This material is still on the Ballroom roof today.

There had been no major refurbishment of the Ballroom since the 1950s until the Gallop Government agreed to a renovation in 2003/2004.

people gather in Ballroom for exhibition

A scene from the Radio and Electricity Exhibition, held at Government House Ballroom in 1934. Source: State Library of Western Australia.

external facade of the ballroom from the gardens

A view of the south side of Government House after construction of the Ballroom and additions to the residence, circa 1899. Source: State Library of Western Australia.

Design

The Government House Ballroom boats the dimensions of a grand building, featuring a large dance floor 30 metres in length by 12 metres wide, an impressive ceiling and colonnaded balconies.

In size, it is second only to Government House Victoria’s Ballroom.

A Supper Room of equal size is located on the lower floor, with outside terraced areas looking out onto the Government House Gardens.

man and woman perform on stage in the ballroom while audience look on

A full house in the Ballroom for a Music on the Terrace concert, presented by the Government House Foundation.

Contemporary use

The Ballroom has been the scene of many grand occasions such as receptions, balls for visiting royalty, investitures and award ceremonies.

The Ballroom and Supper Room are available to book for eligible organisations within the community. Visit our venue enquiries page for more information.

Examples of its use today include:

View images of the Ballroom in use today

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