Bicycle repository. Bank vaults in the basement of Australia House held gold bullion in the first half of the 20th century, but are now home to bicycles and archived files.

    Photo Credit: Brian Roberts

    Opulent outpost. An imposing feature of Australia House.

    Photo Credit: Brian Roberts

    The Australian High Commission, The `Strand London WC2b 4LA.

    Photo Credit: Brian Roberts

    Hobnobbing. Sally Capp (above), former agent-general for Victoria, prepares to play host to guests in her offices in the adjoining building, Victoria House. The agents-general were once the official diplomatic representatives of the Australian colonies in the capital of the empire, but today they focus on promoting tourism and business interests.

    Photo Credit: Brian Roberts

    Night music. The Australian String Quartet practices for a concert hosted by the agent-general of South Australia; cultural outreach is another task performed by diplomatic missions overseas. The Exhibition Hall features nine chandeliers of Empire design, made in Milan using hand-cut Bohemian crystal.

    Photo Credit:

100 years of Australia House

By Australian Geographic | November 23, 2018

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Australia’s oldest diplomatic mission, once described as the nation’s most important building.

Completed in 1918, Australia House is a lavish building, which is steeped in history, and the home of our oldest diplomatic mission. Described in 1930 by one journalist as the “national foyer”, it’s been much more than an embassy for many of its 100 years, once housing banking facilities, a poste restante, an information counter, a cafeteria and a reading room. With heightened security concerns, much of that has gone, but a small piece of Australia still exists on a triangle of land between Aldwych and the Strand in London’s West End. In the centre of Australia House is the high commissioner’s office.