Have you read Seven Little Australians? The Davidson Electorate has received its first ever Blue Plaque, which honours one of Australia’s most celebrated authors, Ethel Turner. Don’t miss its Open Day on Saturday November 5!

Member for Davidson Jonathan O’Dea said the Blue Plaque was installed at Woodlands, number 1 Werona Ave, Killara, – the house where Ethel Turner wrote one of her most well-known novels.

“Ethel Turner is the author of the beloved children’s book Seven Little Australians, a classic coming-of-age story of wilful, rebellious siblings under the care of a rigid father. The natural setting of Woodlands offered great inspiration to the young writer” Mr O’Dea said. Ethel’s contribution to Australian literature is immeasurable and her legacy continues to this day, with Seven Little Australians the only Australian children’s book to have remained continuously in print since its publication in 1894.”

Woodlands

“Ethel has an interesting connection to another woman honoured by a NSW Blue Plaque. The first publication of an illustration by May Gibbs was on the cover of one of Ethel Turner’s books.”

The c.1884 ‘Woodlands’ (formerly known as ‘Inglewood’) is of State heritage significance for its historic association with the acclaimed Australian children’s author Ethel Turner (1870 – 1958) whose most famous literary work ‘Seven Little Australians’ was written during Turner’s occupancy of the property. Ethel Turner lived at ‘Woodlands’ with her family from September 1891 to December 1894. During this period, she wrote three books: her first and most famous children’s novel ‘Seven Little Australians’; its sequel ‘The Family at Misrule’; and ‘The Story of a Baby’. ‘

Seven Little Australians’ and its sequel were strongly influenced by the social and domestic environment of Woodlands and its natural
surroundings creating a provocative portrayal of children and Australian identity in the late 19th century. “Seven Little Australians” has been in print for well over 100 years. It has sold over several million copies in the English language. It has been translated into at least 13 languages, performed as a stage play and been made into a film, a BBC television series in 1953, a 10 episode television series for the ABC in 1973 and a musical in 1988.

Woodlands

Woodlands is one of the earlier substantial Ku-ring-gai residences pre-dating the Hornsby to St Leonards railway line which opened in 1890. The two storey late Victorian Georgian style house demonstrates many aspects of the Federation Filigree style having been remodelled during the Federation period. It provides a rare example of the layering of the Victorian and Federation era styles in domestic architecture.

Minister for Heritage James Griffin said the NSW Blue Plaques program is like the program in the United Kingdom, and provides an opportunity for communities to learn about their local heritage. “It’s incredibly exciting to see so many diverse stories from around the state come to light through the Blue Plaques program,” Mr Griffin said.

“Our $5 million Blue Plaques program is all about recognising the eclectic characters, personalities and important public figures that have made or become part of the history and fabric of our state. So far, 21 Blue Plaque recipients have been named, and we’ll be inviting the NSW public to nominate more noteworthy people, stories and events when a second round of nominations opens later this year.” Mr Griffin concluded.

For more information, visit www.blueplaques.nsw.gov.au

Sydney Living Museum ‘Open Tours’ Of ‘Woodlands’

Woodlands
Past and present owners of Woodlands in Killara unite for its Blue Plaque ceremony

Beautiful ‘Woodlands’ will be open to the public for one day only.

On Saturday 5th November, Sydney Living Museum will be hosting tours at ‘Woodlands’ once home to author, Ethel Turner, where she wrote Seven Little Australians.

Located in Killara, NSW, this is a rare opportunity to see inside this privately owned Heritage residence and dive into the world of an author that broke away from traditional form of writing in the late 1800s, opening the door to an Australian home showing the world what Australian children were really like.

Bookings are essential and can be made through Sydney Living Museums

If, you have any questions, contact Abbey Lane via email at: abbey@abbeylane.net.au

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