ABC TV - Programs and Schedules

Restoration Australia - Season 6

What possesses otherwise level-headed Australians to put their hearts, souls, time and money into restoring old homes, from grand mansions to simple mud huts? It’s often years of hard, dusty work, carrying a catalogue of disappointments and costly discoveries, stretching mortgages and testing relationships to breaking point. But it also can feature eye-popping discoveries, heart-warming historical revelations and a crowd of locals digging in to help or just cheering them on.

And then there’s the result of all that effort. A beautiful heritage filled home that functions for today and lives on for the future.

Host and Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke is fascinated by Australia’s legion of dedicated restorers and enthralled by the dynamics driving their passions and their projects. In this new six-part series Anthony adventures far and wide to capture all their trials and tribulations from a whirlwind restoration of a family farmhouse in remote King Island, an important settler’s mud hut in the Adelaide Hills, a crumbling police barracks in remote NSW, a tumble-down terrace in inner Melbourne, a decrepit beach house in Sydney and on to Brisbane and one of the grandest and most important restorations in the country.

Production credits: A Fremantle production for the ABC. Supervising Executive Producer: Brooke Bayvel. Executive Producer: Michael Collett. ABC Executive Producers: Madeleine Hawcroft and Jo Chichester.


Thursday, 23 May, 8pm

Brisbane media like to call Steve and Jane Wilson a power couple and it’s easy to see why. Jane’s moved seamlessly from the heights of the city’s medical community to corporate boardrooms while financier Steve has been responsible for some of the city’s tectonic changes, notably heading up the huge Southbank redevelopment that transformed a neglected swathe of inner Brisbane into a pulsating urban precinct.

They don’t shy away from a challenge. Even their own home has been a painstaking saga of restoration, renovation and extension playing out over almost 40 years.

But it turns out that labour of love was just a warm up. The architect who designed that home back in the late 19th century poured his considerable talent into what would become his magnum opus years later: a multi-levelled mansion high on a hill overlooking Brisbane River and the city itself. A magnificent house called Home.

Brisbanites have come to know it as Lamb House, for the wealthy city draper who commissioned and the generations of his family who’ve lived in it. But it’s controversy that really made it famous.

A bitter dispute between a latter day Lamb and local authorities over damage to the house set in on a slide. Long periods of neglect, squatter occupancy and vandalism just about condemned it. Until the Wilsons enter the fray.

Host Anthony Burke gains carte blanche access to one of the country’s most remarkable restoration projects and follows the Wilsons and their posse of fastidious artisans, architects and tradies resurrecting a Brisbane icon.

Grand Designs UK - Season 21


Thursday 23 May 9.00pm

In Wye Valley Rosa and Craig convert an inherited, decommissioned steam railway reservoir into a home. Faced with a pandemic, numerous money crises, pregnancy and a schedule that balloons from 12 months to over three years - will it all be worth it?

Ever since Rosa was a child in the Wye Valley, inspired by Grandad Leo, she dreamt of turning a family owned, century old, decommissioned steam railway reservoir into a home. Over two decades later Rosa and her partner Craig finally set out to turn this dream into reality.

Their radical plan is to reinvent the reservoir as an utterly unique living space. Huge holes are to be punched through the reservoir’s flank wall to allow light to flood in. Above the kitchen in this cavernous space will be a dramatic mezzanine giving glorious views across the valley. A new subterranean concrete extension will contain four bedrooms and help enclose a hidden courtyard garden sitting at the heart of the house. It’s wildly ambitious but Rosa and Craig hope enthusiasm and emotional attachment to this special place will compensate for their inexperience and optimistic budget.

But builders’ quotes come in way above the £700,000 that Rosa and Craig can just about afford, mainly through borrowing, jeopardising the entire project from the get-go. After months of agonizing however, some heart-breaking news compels them to persevere with the project no matter what. That turns out to be a pandemic, numerous money crises, pregnancy and a schedule that balloons from 12 months to over three years. Will it all be worth it for Rosa to live in her beloved reservoir?

Production credit: FremantleMedia Ltd/Naked West. Written and Presented by Kevin McCloud.