All people working in the non-public areas of Parliament House must have a current, valid pass. Full time Press Gallery passes are issued to individuals by the Parliament House Pass Office after acceptance from the Press Gallery committee. The criteria that the committee looks at when deciding on a new application is primarily around the applicant’s and their organisation’s reporting on issues of federal politics.
To join the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery you must first write to the President of the Press Gallery, currently Andrew Meares, to apply for membership – ameares@fairfaxmedia(dot)com(dot)au.
Your letter should set out your credentials for joining the Press Gallery.
If you are moving to the Press Gallery as part of an ongoing position with an existing, Press Gallery accredited media organisation, you are required to provide a sponsorship letter from the Canberra bureau chief of that organisation. For the purposes of accreditation, journalists may include photographers, camera operators and technicians.
Freelancers, Bloggers and New Organisations
Freelancers, bloggers and new media organisations wishing to join the Press Gallery should provide examples of their work and a letter of endorsement from three current members of the Press Gallery with their application.
Freelancers should detail where they intend for their work to appear – be it in print, online, television or radio. A letter of endorsement from a media organisation is an advantage but not essential. A letter of introduction from a member of your client base will also assist.
Freelancers must demonstrate that their principal occupation is as a journalist/photographer/camera and/or sound operator to obtain a full time Press Gallery pass. It is possible for freelancers to obtain a day pass to the Press Gallery to report on parliament. A person applying for a day pass can be signed in by a member of the Press Gallery. The full time member of the Press Gallery remains responsible for the actions and behaviour of the holder of a day pass, and the full time member can have their pass removed in instances where the day pass holder has not adhered to the media rules.
All applications are considered by the Press Gallery committee. While the committee endeavors to respond as quickly as possible, all members of the committee are full time working media and serve the committee on a voluntary basis. Once your application has been reviewed you will be contacted.
Full time membership of the Press Gallery is only open to journalists, photographers, camera operators, sound operators and other professionals whose principle occupation is reporting, editing or interpreting federal politics.
Full time members of the Press Gallery may not, under any circumstances, use their pass to work for a politician, government department, lobbyist, non-governmental organisation, or in any other capacity in Parliament House.
You may not hold a lobbyist pass, staffer pass or any other form of pass concurrent with holding a pass that entitles the bearer to membership of the Press Gallery.
The committee’s decision on all membership applications is final.
A full time Press Gallery pass will be valid for three years and the committee asks for a contribution of $5 from applicants at the time their pass has been approved. Money raised from the issuing of passes goes towards expenses such as flowers for families of Press Gallery members following a bereavement, and website hosting costs. The application form must be signed by either President Andrew Meares, Vice President Fleur Anderson or Secretary Eliza Borrello. If you have any questions, please contact us.