Like moths drawn to a bright light, Canberra's Parliament House attracts the curious, the ambitious and often the young and naive to work as staff members for MPs.
The reality is: it can be a thankless and unsupportive place in which to work.
The Brittany Higgins alleged sexual assault is just one in a litany of incidents which have reflected poorly on how MPs treat their staff down through the years.
The two Houses are environments which feed on the robust exchange, the nasty innuendo, and the thinly-veiled barb - so it's little wonder that when a recess is called, there's no damping of delivery when the cameras stop rolling and microphones are off.
And woe betide those like Higgins who work on the Hill: the interns, the powerless and the vulnerable. Because, as her personal (and we should add, very brave) account of this incident revealed, it's an entirely discomforting place to be.
During sitting weeks, the pressure cooker is set to maximum and expectations ramp up and hours in the office often march into the early hours of the morning.
Those parliamentarians who choose to go into public life are rarely unprepared for what follows. But pity those who work there, attracted to better understanding the mechanisms and complexities of politics.
From afar, it appears an intoxicating attraction. From within, it borders on toxic. Bent and broken from the cut and thrust of federal politics is a trail of broken lives.
Only late last year senior advisor Rachel Miller was left "anxious and afraid" after her boss, Minister Alan Tudge, cast her adrift following their 2017 affair. In her formal complaint to the Department of Finance, she stated that "to be a good staffer you needed to keep quiet, ignore and bury bad behaviour and protect the Liberal Party at all costs".
Then there are those who are burnt out, rather than cast out. Take the case of former respected government advisor Stephen Ellis, who worked for then communications minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Respected by his colleagues for his work ethic and contributions, Ellis was arrested in a Canberra airport disabled toilet in 2015 in what appeared to be a drug-induced psychosis, the lurid details of which caused a dramatic fall in his professional standing.
The Prime Minister has supported an independent review into the Brittany Higgins matter and admitted there was a "big job to do" in relation to improving the culture at Parliament House and "we must do everything we can do to make things better".
But the House is supposed to set the standard. A cultural overhaul is sorely needed, it remains to be seen if those in power will opt for real change or simply get back to 'managing' this latest crisis.