The Residency building, centrally located on the corner of Parsons and Hartley Street, represents a brief period between 1926 and 1931 when Central Australia was an independent administrative region, separate from the remainder of the Territory, under the North Australia Act.
Completed in 1928, it served as the official home for the first Government Resident, John Cawood.
Following the repeal of the North Australia Act in 1931, The Residency continued to be occupied as the home of Assistant Administrator. For the brief period between 1942 and 1945, it served as home to the NT Administrator, when the centre of Government was moved to central Australia following the bombing of Darwin.
Over the years, The Residency has been occupied by a number of individuals who have had a significant impact upon the development of the Northern Territory, including Col. Lionel Rose (Chief Veterinary Officer for the NT); Reginald McCaffery and Dan Conway (District Officers of Alice Springs.
It has played host to many visiting dignitaries, including the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in 1946 but, without doubt, its most famous visitors were Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, who spent two nights at the The Residency on the 14th and 15th of March, 1963, as part of their Royal Visit to Australia.
Today, The Residency is occupied by Heritage Alice Springs Inc. and presented to the public as one of Alice’s most historically significant properties. It also hosts many events throughout the year, such as the Annual Spring Flower Show and Collectors Fair, and is available to local groups to use for meetings, exhibitions and special functions.
Visitors can explore this once gracious home, which was the social, administrative and vice-regal hub of the early township of Alice Springs.
The Residency is generally open to the public between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm, Mondays to Fridays, and fortnightly on Market Sundays. It is a great place for visitors to have a tea or coffee break in a heritage setting and get the chance to talk to a local.
For enquiries, contact the office of Heritage Alice Springs Inc. in Alice Springs.
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