Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL) will program a range of cultural activities and events for all ages in a 12 month pilot at Millers Homestead in Boronia.
The pilot responds to a strong community preference for the historic homestead to become a community arts and history centre.
Programming will include creative writing and literature events, children’s programs, community and cultural events, arts partnerships, heritage literature collections, genealogy services and gardening, seed bank and sustainability activities.
Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said the tenancy agreement with ERL will provide a great public use for the historic site and allow it to be preserved and accessed by more of the community.
“Miller’s Homestead is a much-loved feature of Boronia’s history and we know it holds great significance for our community,” said Cr Cooper.
“Eastern Regional Libraries will help activate this space so people of all ages can discover and enjoy fantastic programs in a beautiful and historic setting.”
Council overturned a decision to rezone and sell the property in 2018 in response to community opposition. Community consultation then provided feedback on future possible uses for Miller’s Homestead with overwhelming support for a combined events, community history and community art space.
An expression of interest was conducted to identify a community or non-profit organisation to provide programming for a 12-month period, with the option to extend this tenancy a further four years. Programs and events will commence when COVID-19 restrictions allow.
Miller’s Homestead is one of three historic homesteads owned by Council. The single storey Victorian residence on the corner of Melrose Court and Dorrigo Drive in Boronia was the home of James John Miller, the first President of Ferntree Gully Shire.
The building is the best example of the Victorian style boom era of the 1880s in Knox, and has been restored faithfully. The garden has also been landscaped as far as possible to the original design including a camellia walkway propagated from remnant vegetation dating back to the 1890s.