Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts

Built on the site where Sir Henry Parkes’ speech launched the drive for the creation of the Australian nation, this, our first museum, is devoted to Federation and the man who started it.

Sir Henry Parkes ‘The Father of Federation’ delivered a speech in October 1889 that in the words of Sir Robert Garran “turned a vague ideal into a practical working program for Federation”.  His speech revived the Federation movement and led to the creation of the Australian nation. The site would become The National Trust’s first museum and has earned the title of ‘birthplace of our nation.’ The property not only stands to commemorate the memory of one of Australia’s great statesmen but to provide a centre of interest to perpetuate the meaning and purpose of Federation. Architecturally, the building comprises many styles, from its Gothic outline to the Edwardian addition of 1913. The building and location reflect the beginning of a community functioning politically and creatively as a whole, which in turn interprets the contributions and projects of the great Sir Henry Parkes.

Plan your Visit

Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts


Cnr Manners and Rouse Streets
Tenterfield 2372 NSW


On 31 July 2023 the Sir Henry Park Memorial School of Arts museum and cinema/theatre closed.

(02) 6736 6100