In the end of 2006, I was approached by Ann Toy and Robert Griffin, Curators for The Historic Houses Trust, Government House, Sydney to re-upholster the antique furniture in the drawing room for the APEC meeting.

I was honoured to use the skills that I had learnt from a young age in Portugal and use it for such an important meeting that was going to be held in Australia. The Napoleon III chairs and sofas had an amazing history behind them when they were first upholstered. I never though that in my life I would ever get the chance to do something like this or be approached by a ‘group’ that cared for antiquities the same way I did.

Although I had never re-upholstered something from this style since I have been in Australia it involved me and my co-workers to do some extra research about the period, by going to the Australian National Library. By using my experience from previous jobs done in Portugal and understanding the period we were able re-upholster the furniture in its correct style, taking into account shapes, angles, lines, button depths and swags. I re-upholstered the antique furniture in red silk and once I delivered the completed furniture to Government House for the Red Drawing Room, it looked amazing.

I was so proud that my furniture sat in a room were leaders of the world in a few weeks were going to be for this special event. I am still involved in working for the Historic Houses Trust in Sydney and currently working on the banquettes for the music room.