Magna Carta Place

On the 25 September 1995 a group of Canberra residents,convened by Major James Cullens and Mr David Evans, met to consider the need, at the turn of the century, for a commemorative project in the National Capital, as a celebration of the close historical and cultural links which exist between Australia and Britain.

Field inspections of possible sites for such a project followed and eventually a semi-circular grassed area, adjacent to the Old Parliament House Senate garden, was selected.

In November 1996 Air Vice Marshal Desmond Hall, the President of the ACT Branch of the Australia-Britain Society, was invited to assume leadership of the group. This resulted in the formation of a committee of the Society under the chairmanship of Sir John Mason, with Air Vice Marshal Hall as executive vice chairman.

Two members of the committee, Major Desmond Woods and Dr John Gray, suggested Magna Carta as a theme for the proposed monument. This was agreed and the name Magna Carta Committee was adopted.

The National President of the Australia-Britain Society, Mrs Marjorie Turbayne MBE OAM and the Board of the Australia-Britain Society decided to make the Magna Carta monument the society's 'Centenary of Federation project' and subsequently undertook to act as guarantor to the National Capital Authority for its cost. Meanwhile the committee began fund-raising and, in close association with the National Capital Authority, set to work to initiate a design competition for the monument in Australia and Britain.

On the 6 December 1996 the committee lodged with the National Capital Authority a preliminary proposal for a Magna Carta Monument to be erected in Canberra 'as a commemoration of Freedom under the Law'. This was agreed to in principle and on 13 July 1997 a formal proposal was submitted to the Canberra National Memorials Committee. This was accepted and the name Magna Carta Place as the site for the monument was authorised in the Commonwealth Gazette of 1 October 1997.

Magna Carta Place was dedicated by the Hon. Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE, the Chief Justice of Australia, on 12 October 1997. This day was the 700th anniversary of the sealing by King Edward I of the 1297 issue of Magna Carta, an original copy of which is now on display in Parliament House.

A high point in the Magna Carta Committee's fund-raising campaign was reached when - after an approach by Air Vice Marshal Hall to the British Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra - the British Government made a most generous donation of $528,000 towards the cost of the monument, as its centennial gift from the people of Britain to the people of Australia.

We also record our thanks, gratitude and appreciation to Mr David Fall and Dr Andrew Pocock. Not only were they members of the Australia-Britain Society but during the project period, they were heavily involved in the work of the Magna Carta Committee and their support was invaluable. Similarly, the British High Commissioners during the project Sir Roger Carrick KCMG LVO, Mr Alex Allan and Sir Alastair Goodlad KCMG gave their full and helpful support.

The Australia-Britain Society expresses its appreciation to the National Capital Authority and its Chairman, Air Marshal David Evans AC DSO AFC RAAF (Retd), Ms Annabelle Pegrum Chief Executive, Mr Michael Grace, Dr David Headon and Ms Rosalind Ransome for their work and dedication to the project.

Finally, Sir John Mason and the Australia-Britain Society Magna Carta Committee thank the major donors, the Friends of Magna Carta, and all the donors, whose generosity has brought the Magna Carta project to fruition.

  • Contact us
  • Freedom of Information
  • Disclaimer
  • Accessibility
  • Privacy
  • Copyright

Contact us

Your feedback is always welcome.

  • Would you like to make a comment on projects under consultation?
  • Do you require information not currently available on this site?
  • Were you able to find what you were looking for?
  • Anything else you would like to see?

Send us your comments so we can ensure the site meets your needs.

Send us your comments

Pay Parking

Report a Fault, Ask for a Refund or obtain more information on Parking Infringements.

Pay Parking Enquiries

Agency Plan to Information Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) extends the right of every person to access information in the possession of the Government of the Commonwealth.

Read More

Disclosure Log

The Disclosure Log lists information which has been released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) access request.

Read More

Freedom of Information Contact Officer

GPO Box 373, CANBERRA ACT 2601 or email to -


While we make every effort to ensure that the material on this site is accurate and up-to-date when we publish it, you should exercise your own independent skill and judgement before you rely on it. In any important matter, you should seek professional advice relevant to your own circumstances. The listing of a person or organisation in any part of this web site does not imply any form of endorsement by the Australian Government of the products or services provided by that person or organisation. Similarly, links to other web sites have been inserted for your convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. Please note that some material on this site includes views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government, or indicate its commitment to particular course of action. The Australian Government cannot verify the accuracy of information that has been provided by third parties.

Standards Compliance

The NCA's website aims to conform to Double A compliance of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 (WCAG 2.0), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As much of this website's content is dynamic or community generated, some content may not always be accessible to the Double A level.

Read More


This website is designed for use in modern web browsers and mobile devices and it is not guaranteed to function correctly in older web browsers.

Read More

Further Accessibility difficulties

The NCA's website is the work of many authors and a dynamic environment. There is always the possibility that accessibility difficulties may be encountered. If you experience any issues please email or call us 6271 2888.


The NCA collects personal information (including sensitive information) from you or your authorised representative when we are handling an application from you, enquiry or complaint from you or taking regulatory action under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

Read More


© Commonwealth of Australia 2014This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General's Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted on the on the Attorney-General's department website.

Commonwealth Copyright Statement