Star-Studded Past: Historic Kinauld Residence in Highgate Hill and its Hollywood Guests

Steve and Jane Wilson, the couple behind the restoration of Lamb House in Kangaroo Point, has placed Kinauld, their historic Highgate Hill residence, on the market. This 1888-built home once played host to Hollywood powerhouse couple Vivien Leigh and her husband, Sir Laurence Olivier.

Nestled at 116 Dornoch Terrace, this iconic property is now up for grabs as the owners, corporate identities Steve and Jane Wilson, have decided to part ways with their beloved family home of over 35 years.

The Wilsons, known for their passion for historic homes, famously acquired Lamb House in Kangaroo Point in 2021 for a staggering $12.75 million. Following an extensive renovation, Lamb House is now almost ready for occupancy, prompting the couple to list their cherished Kinauld for sale.

Kinauld House
Photo Credit: Showcache/YouTube

Jane Wilson expressed that they thought of keeping both historical houses but “it just didn’t make sense.” So, they want a new family to enjoy their former home. 

Among the many memories the Wilsons hold dear at Kinauld was the celebration of Steve’s 40th birthday. Jane reminisced about the evening when a Frank Sinatra impersonator serenaded the guests while they danced on a specially constructed dancefloor over the pool. Steve, however, treasures the family milestones, such as christenings and barbecues at the home.

Photo Credit: Showcache/YouTube

But Kinauld has more to offer beyond the Wilsons’ cherished memories. According to Steve, the residence had the honour of hosting Hollywood legends Vivien Leigh, famous for her roles in “Gone with the Wind” and “A Street Car Named Desire,” and her husband, Sir Laurence Olivier, renowned for his performances in “Hamlet,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “Spartacus.” 

The Hollywood power couple visited the residence during their 1948 trip to Brisbane, adding a touch of stardom to Kinauld’s history.

1948: Queenslanders’ Starstruck Encounter with the Oliviers

Delving into the annals of history, we uncover the star-studded visit of Olivier and Leigh to Queensland in 1948. The famed Hollywood couple had come to Australia as lead actors with England’s prestigious The Old Vic theatre company, all thanks to the British Government’s gesture of gratitude for the countries’ wartime contributions.

On 20 June 1948, Olivier and Leigh landed at Archerfield aerodrome in Brisbane, embarking on a theatrical journey that would leave an indelible mark on the Antipodes. The couple had hoped for a peaceful break in Queensland to recharge their spirits after a series of demanding rehearsals and performances. However, the couple’s desire for solitude clashed with the starstruck Queenslanders’ enthusiasm.

Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

Their arrival in Brisbane was met with a mob of 200 eager fans, eager to catch a glimpse of the iconic couple. The constant fan vigil became overwhelming, leading the Oliviers to seek refuge in private accommodation. To assist them in their quest for seclusion, they turned to their “theatrical friend” Bob Geraghty, who recommended a private house. The sanctuary was to the couple’s liking.

Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

The Oliviers’ visit left an enduring imprint on Queensland’s history, showcasing the star power they possessed and the fervent admiration of their Australian fans.

Meanwhile, this historic Kinauld is now being marketed by Place New Farm. It is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers interested in owning a piece of Queensland’s glamorous past.

Published 1-Nov-2023

Highgate Hill Riverfront Development, to Impact Kurilpa Garden, Divides Community

Plans to redevelop an ageing residential building on Highgate Hill has divided a community amidst concerns that the project could impact the adjoining Kurilpa Garden.

The developer, Bluebird, lodged an application (DA A005732911) in May 2021 to knock down a 14-unit property on 5 Dudley Street. In its place will be an 8-unit block with larger but more expensive apartments for families who might need a three-bedroom space.

Bluebird partnered with the longtime local landowners, who determined that investing in a new building with a sustainable design would be better than restoring the old site. The developer has proposed a high-quality boutique residential dwelling with environmentally sensitive standards, allowing the building to “breathe” and promoting healthy wellbeing for its residents.

The old building on Dudley Street
Photo Credit: Jonathan Sri/Google Street View

Community engagements were conducted in the previous year before the filing of the development application but the plans have drawn a number of protests, particularly from the people who run the Kuripla Garden on Boundary Street. The garden was established in 2020, as a response to food insecurity during the pandemic. 


  • A development application to demolish an old 14-unit building on Dudley Street has been filed with Council. It will be replaced by an 8-unit building with bigger spaces for larger families.
  • Operators of the neighbouring Kurilpa Garden have concerns about its impact on the community garden and affordable housing in the precint.
  • The developer said they did consultations with the community, including the garden operators, before filing the application

Its operators are opposing the development not only for the potential loss of the garden but for the “mass gentrification” that would reduce the number of affordable homes in Highgate Hill.

“The new development application isn’t sticking to the LMR2 zoning. The proposal is for a 4 to 5-storey building with eight 3-bedroom apartments,” Cr Jonathan Sri wrote.  

“Not only does the newer development have fewer overall dwellings, but they are large, high-end apartments which target a very different demographic – extremely wealthy downsizers. The new apartments will probably sell for at least $1 million, perhaps significantly more considering that they have river views and are located at the ‘quiet’ end of West End.” 

Sri further stated that the development will “have tangible negative impacts” on the neighbouring green space as the bulk of the new building will overshadow the garden and reduce the sunlight necessary for urban farming. The councillor also assessed that the development will entail digging through Boundary Street, disturbing the roots of the trees in the garden. 

Photo Credit: Developmenti/BCC

Bluebird, however, said that they have engaged with Sri and the garden operators a number of times, assuring that the garden will be reinstated and provided with more resources. The developer said it will offset the cost of lost production during the construction phase and has offered to “formalise” the garden’s operation.

The development application has gained some support from the neighbours.

“This is not only a win for the surrounding environment but also for the residents who will benefit from reduced energy costs. I’m a big believer in the proper disposal of waste, especially in apartments where composting can be difficult. It’s wonderful that there will be green waste and composting facilities incorporated in communal areas. More developments like this, please,” one local wrote in the submissions.

Other supporters said that the proposal is sensible and will create bigger apartments for families, which are currently in high demand but underserved in Highgate Hill.

The proposal is awaiting a decision from the Council.

Highgate Hill Residence Wins Brisbane’s House of the Year

Highgate Hill riverfront residence stuns judges of Master Builders Brisbane Housing and Construction Awards and bags the 2019 House of the Year award.

This is a great year for MCD Construction as they win big at the annual Master Builders Brisbane Housing and Construction Awards. Apart from bringing home the most coveted House of the Year prize, they also won the Individual Home $1.26 million – $2 million award for the build as well as the Refurbishment/Renovation $750,000 – $5 million prize for their Walter’s Steakhouseproject in the Brisbane CBD.

Judges lauded the award-winning Highgate Hill residence for its clever design and excellent use of the riverfront location. They also cited how the home integrated ample open living space and great liveability.

The prized home’s design is incredibly thought out as it incorporates various materials. These include timber, steel, and concrete block that seamlessly blends in with the environment through the addition of greenery. Furthermore, adding a simple frog pond at the house exterior makes the home even more inviting and aesthetically pleasing.

Master Builders Brisbane Housing and Construction Awards

Credit: Master Builders Queensland/YouTube

Other winners crowned at the prestigious awards include the Multiplex Constructions who won Project of the Year, Excellence in Workplace Health & Safety award, and the Tourism and Leisure Facilities over $10 million award for their work on W Hotel and Brisbane Quarter.

Master Builders’ CEO, Grant Galvin, was delighted for this year’s winners across the 55 categories.

“This year’s Awards program highlights the quality and range of building happening around Brisbane. It’s exciting to celebrate such great craftsmanship and the quality building practices of our members,” Mr Galvin said.

“The diversity was inspiring, making picking the winners a real challenge for the judges. It also highlighted the broad spectrum of the building industry where our members work.”

To view the full list of winners of the 2019 Brisbane Housing & Construction Award, you may visit Master Builders Queenslands’ winners page.

West End, Highgate Hill Motorists to Follow New Parking Scheme

Brisbane City Council has approved a new parking scheme in West End and Highgate Hill.

The new parking rule will take effect beginning Monday, 18 March 2019, where a two-hour parking limit covering south of Brighton Road and west of Gladstone Road will be imposed from Mondays through Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Some car owners with valid permits, however, may be excused from this two-hour limit in areas where there’s a sign showing “RESIDENTS PERMIT EXCEPTED.”

The new parking scheme is the Council’s solution to easing the traffic congestion in the inner-city streets. Some 60 per cent of the residents and business owners in the West End and Highgate Hill areas reportedly supported the initiative.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

“Areas marked in blue will remain unlimited parking for everyone,” Councillor Jonathan Sri (The Gabba) wrote on his Facebook page. “In areas marked red, it will only be possible to park for two hours during the day on weekdays, unless you have a resident permit (in which case you can park as long as you want). No rules will change for weekends or nights.”

Mr Sri also said that more changes to the parking scheme might be in place before the implementation in March.

“The officers have tried to balance the competing needs of neighbouring residents. Some people wanted more of their street signed as resident permit parking, while others didn’t want any changes to their street,” the councillor said.

Residents who would like to get parking permits may start filing their application online by email, phone, or in person. They have to prepare supporting documents, such as a tenancy agreement and vehicle registration, to confirm their residency and car.

Tenants with a six-month lease, however, won’t be eligible for parking permits. Meanwhile, those who apply for parking permits online may get a hard copy. Residents are encouraged to call 3403 8888 for inquiries.

Survey Seeks to Find Traffic Choke Points and Transport Issues in West End, Inner South

The Government has launched a survey that seeks to identify traffic choke points and transport issues in West End and the rest of Inner South.

In the online survey, participants are asked to describe their travel experiences to help the Department of Transport and Main Roads to better understand the area’s current and future transport challenges and opportunities.

Feedback from the community will be used for the South Brisbane Transport and Mobility Study. This study will help map a way forward to ensure a safe and reliable transport system for the inner south.

The CollabMap

Photo credit:

A CollabMap is now available for locals to give their inputs online. This is an easy-to-use online mapping tool which can be used to pinpoint specific issues.

According to Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, the study will consider all transport modes as well as seek community input.

“Public comment will be a major component to ensure a complete picture of key connections to the area via river, road and rail,” Mr Bailey said.

“The study will look at access to education hubs, cultural precincts, and essential services such as hospitals – covering the suburbs of South Brisbane, West End, Highgate Hill, Dutton Park, Woolloongabba, Kangaroo Point, East Brisbane and Annerley,” he added.

Photo credit:

Residents can use the interactive mapping tool to share where they think there is a transport or mobility issue.

In fact, several transport problems have already been raised for Vulture Street and Montague Road. Issues that were mentioned include the need for a dedicated cycle lane, reduced speed limit, a safe pedestrian and bike crossing as well as the implementation of priority for buses.

When having your say and using the pins in the interactive mapping tool, think about your travel experiences in relation to:

  • Available information explaining the network and how to use it;
  • Connections to destination centres and surrounding neighbourhoods;
  • Safety and personal security on the network; and
  • The range of travel options available.

Community Consultation

The study will also investigate ongoing and emerging traffic and transport pressures on key connections via the river. Photo credit: CC-BY/Brisbane City Council/Flickr

Furthermore, the Government rolled out a community engagement program to give the inner city residents an opportunity to contribute their valuable local knowledge.

Apart from using the CollabMap, locals can also provide inputs by completing the community survey online or visiting community engagement booths. The survey will be open until 31 October 2018.

Schedule of Community Engagement Booths

Corner Boundary Street and Russell Street, West End (Lizard sculpture) Tuesday, 25 September 2018
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Goodwill Bridge (South Bank side) Saturday, 29 September 2018
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Buranda Village shopping centre Tuesday, 2 October 2018
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and
Thursday, 4 October 2018
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
West End markets (Davies Park) Saturday, 6 and 27 October 2018
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park (near Bar Spritz) Tuesday, 9 October 2018
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Gladstone Road shops (corner Gladstone Road and Blakeney Street) Thursday, 11 October 2018
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Ecosciences Precinct (near Cafe Eco) Tuesday, 16 October 2018
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
South Brisbane Station (forecourt) Wednesday, 17 October 2018
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Woolloongabba Fiveways (Logan Road and Stanley Street) Sunday, 21 October 2018
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
South Bank Busway Station Wednesday, 24 October 2018
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Mowbray Park (near Ferry Terminal) Thursday, 25 October 2018
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Aldi Shopping Centre (Montague Road) Tuesday, 30 October 2018
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Learn more about the South Brisbane Transport and Mobility Study by visiting the official website. You may also contact for more information.