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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

11 August 2006

Grand home honoured with top heritage listing

One of Australia’s most outstanding 19th century urban estates, Rippon Lea in Melbourne, has been added to the National Heritage List.

The listing was announced today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

“Rippon Lea, a 15-room mansion built in 1869, shows us the social impact of Victoria’s 19th century gold rush era,” Senator Campbell said.

“The estate was designed at a time when Victoria’s considerable wealth and prosperity from the gold boom led to the development of numerous ornate mansions in Melbourne and in rural areas, known as ‘Boom’ or ‘Victorian Italianate’ style.

“Rippon Lea was the home of Frederick Sargood, a prosperous merchant in the 1860s who served as the Colony of Victoria’s first Defence Minister and in 1901was elected to Australia’s first Senate.”

Senator Campbell said the house showed the features valued by 19th century high-society, including pavilions and impressive gardens and grounds.

“Frederick Sargood was ahead of his time in devising a sophisticated system for water self-sufficiency for the house and garden. An underground water collection, irrigation and drainage system, with water pumped by a windmill, ensured that the garden flourished,” Senator Campbell said.

“Even after the property passed out of the Sargood family it continued to be a grand estate, later additions including a 1930s ballroom and Hollywood-inspired swimming pool complex.

“Today the public can visit this magnificent home, now owned by the Victorian National Trust.”

Rippon Lea joins other important places on the National Heritage List, such as the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Kurnell Peninsula in Botany Bay where Captain Cook first landed on Australian soil, and Port Arthur convict site in Tasmania.

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Media contact:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

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