The Building – MacArthur Museum Brisbane
The MacArthur Museum Brisbane is in the heritage listed Macarthur Chambers building constructed between 1931 and 1934 as the Queensland Headquarters of the Australian Mutual Provident Society.
The Museum is both an expression of the cultural heritage significance of the building and a means of interpreting it through best practice in developing exhibitions, collections, an oral history program, an education program for schools, a website and the training of volunteer guides.
Tenants were compulsorily evacuated under military orders from 21 July 1942 until 14 June 1945. The AMP was left with part of the ground floor and most of the basement. General Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area, occupied the Board Room on the eighth floor and his staff were in the rest of the building.
(Click on image for larger view)
Telephone operators were on the 6th floor, MacArthur’s communications were encoded and decoded on the 7th floor and the war brides office was on the 8th floor. The Press Relations office overflowed its accommodation on the 7th floor of the AMP building and was moved into the Commercial Bank building next door. An entry was cut from the 8th floor of the Commercial Bank into the AMP building. The Sigsaly terminal, which made telephone conferences secure, was in the basement.
Another dimension of our interpretation of the historical role of the building, and a focal point for the visitor, is our display of one of the most significant objects in our collection, the planning table where MacArthur and his senior staff developed strategies for the war.