City News

Home of ‘Seven Little Australians’ author to be opened for public viewing

Seven Little Australians

The former home (pictured) of Ethel Turner will be open to public viewing this weekend. Photo: Sam Pashmi.

By SAM PASHMI

The owner of the state heritage-listed Killara property that was once home to Australian bestselling author Ethel Turner will be opened up to public viewing this Saturday, including the room where it is believed that Australia’s most popular children’s novel, Seven Little Australians, was written.

Current homeowner Albert Lim, who migrated to Australia with his wife in 2015 and bought the property two years later, told City Hub that he found out who the house used to belong to while inspecting the property and has since taken it upon himself to preserve Turner’s legacy in the home.

Ethel Turner. Photo: Harold Cazneaux.

When asked why he was doing this, Lim said that he wants his five daughters “to look up to Ethel and be inspired by her”.

“Especially because she lived in a time that women were neglected and pushed aside, yet, despite these challenges, she rose up to become one of Australia’s most revered authors,” he said.

“I’m doing this not only to preserve her memory but to inspire future generations to follow in her footsteps.”

Seven Little Australians home rebuild hopes to ‘inspire future generations’: homeowner

Seven Little Australians

Albert Lim. Photo: Sam Pashmi.

The house was built in 1884 and has since been through many owners, redesigns and renovations. When Lim realised the significance of the property in Australian literary culture, he was astonished to realise the lack of knowledge that many of his friends had about Turner and Seven Little Australians.

Lim began digging deeper into Turner’s life and her work and decided to open the property to the public once he could restore the home back to its original glory. He reinstalled the tennis court in the backyard, revived the neglected front yard gardens and reformed the house back to its 19th-century style.

The Woodlands Killara House will be open on Saturday as part of the Ku-ring-gai Heritage Festival.