The grounds of Government House may be made available, at the Governor's discretion, for charitable and community events. They are not made available for hire, or for use for commercial purposes. Those wishing to use the grounds should write to Her Excellency the Governor formally seeking permission.  The organisation and cost of such events is the responsibility of the body concerned in close liaison with Government House staff.

It is generally accepted that Her Excellency will be asked to provide a brief welcoming address for all functions conducted in the grounds of Government House.


  1. Once permission has been granted, a conference between the organisation's representative and Government House staff will be held well in advance to ratify the details. More detailed running sheets on the function are required at least 2 weeks prior to the event.
  2. Functions tend to be garden parties held on a weekday. To prevent damage to lawns, tentage may not be left standing over a weekend.
  3. Functions normally will not exceed two hours in duration, although guests may be admitted to the grounds from a designated time prior to the start of the function. Guests are expected to leave promptly at the conclusion of the function.
  4. Cost to public funds is to be restricted to reasonable electrical power and water requirements. Staff support will not be provided by Government House other than as advised by the Official Secretary. The organisation arranging the function must meet the cost of repairing any damage (eg to lawns or irrigation equipment) caused by its agents, employees or guests.
  5. If Government House deems it necessary to employ extra security measures for the event, this will be done in consultation with the organisers but at the organiser's expense.
  6. Requests for the display of signs, including commercial signs, should be discussed with Government House staff. Generally, only discreet signs within marquees will be permitted. Labels and logos on tentage, vehicles and equipment will be considered on a case by case basis. It is not generally permitted for promotional material to be distributed within the grounds.
  7. A draft copy of invitations or any advertisement for the function must be submitted to Government House for approval prior to release. In addition, background information for His Excellency's welcoming address (or a draft) is to be submitted to Government House staff at least two weeks in advance of an event.
  8. All protocol matters, including detailed arrangements for Vice-Regal attendance at the function, are to be submitted to Government House staff.

Responsibilities of Government House

  1. All possible assistance will be given in the planning stages by the Functions Officer.
  2. The following specifically will be provided by Government House: a. Limited car parking for the staff organising the function. (Details of requirements are to be provided by the organisers.) b. Water and reasonable electrical power. c. Limited signs and barriers to facilitate traffic control. d. Advice from gardeners re location of irrigation lines. e. A staff member of Government House will be on duty in the House at all times when functions are underway, and may be contacted in case of an emergency or other special need by ringing the back (courtyard) door bell.
  3. Government House staff will facilitate co-ordination between organisations sharing facilities on successive days.

Responsibilities of Organisation

The organisation concerned is to ensure that:

  1. Total attendance is not more than 2,000 people.
  2. Admission is by invitation or by ticket if a charge is made, which must benefit a non-profit organisation; the cost and manner of sale of tickets is to be determined by the organisation concerned in consultation with Government House.
  3. Staff of the organisation are located at the entrance gates from the time they are opened until all guests have departed, to control access and collect tickets.
  4. Movement by the public is confined to the immediate area of the function.
  5. Sufficient tentage is provided for emergency shelter for all guests and staff in the event of rain.
  6. The stores necessary for the function (such as chairs, tables, crockery, cutlery, glassware, cooking equipment, lights, amplification and electric cables ) are provided.
  7. Refrigeration for drinks and food is provided.
  8. Toilet facilities sufficient for the number attending are provided (including provision for people with disabilities and the provision of lighting if after dark).
  9. Rubbish disposal facilities are provided. In this regard, food waste is to be removed from the premises immediately following the event. Separate facilities are to be provided for glass containers, and the lawns are to be left clear of any debris.
  10. All tentage and stores are removed on the day of or on the day after the function, except where they are required for another function the following day.
  11. First aid cover is provided.
  12. A responsible officer of the organisation is present at all times when stores are being delivered or returned, during the event, and when any other work is being done. That person must liaise with Government House gardeners, supervise the installation and erection of equipment and facilities and ensure the protection of the lawns and gardens, i.e.
    • before erecting tentage, liaise with Government House gardeners who will indicate the location of irrigation lines,
    • prevent any vehicles driving on lawns,
    • ensure that trees are not damaged by high vehicles,
    • prevent damage to edging by the movement of vehicles, and prevent damage to the underground irrigation system,
    • ensure that no ice, boiling water or any other liquids are poured onto the lawns. (They very quickly burn off the grass.)
  13. Proof of appropriate insurance cover is provided; in particular:-
  14. effective Public Liability cover is included with a "Goods Sold" extension where necessary,
  15. the interests of the Government of South Australia are to be noted in respect of the function,
  16. where liquor is to be sold or consumed, a copy of a Liquor Licence is provided to Government House.
  17. Please see the below links to the detailed guidelines for grounds events. Alternatively, you may request a copy of the relevant documents from Government House, telephone (08) 8203 9831.

Documents - please download, read carefully and complete: