Over 300 submissions were received with 2,730 people participating in the variety of community engagement activities at Knox Festival, Miller’s Homestead Open Days and Easter Family Fun Day, as well as online.

Consultation Results

There were 129 different suggestions from the community for the future of Miller’s. These suggestions covered a variety of different uses including community use, arts, education, hospitality and play.

Some of the comments from the community were:

  • Café- great for walking groups to stop for coffee
  • Make sure its family friendly
  • Community should benefit
  • Sell it to me and you can use the grounds as you wish J
  • Gold donation to enter the site
  • Car parking will be ok if there are proper restrictions;
  • Use more by community not private – capitalise on its historic value;
  • Don’t have big parties
  • If someone has a lease (for a café etc.) then it might affect public access. The main thing is to allow access to the community
  • I welcome any use which maximises the accessibility to all and the economic viability of this asset. To limit it to a single community group with full public funding burden seems too restrictive. I’d like to see a mixture of commercial opportunities and public utility, to ensure self-sufficient prosperity and opportunity.
  • Don’t develop into housing, keep in Council hands
  • Restore it to what it was like in 1888 to show people how people lived – history of site

There were also a number of examples of other community facilities that the Homestead could be modelled on, including Wyreena, Mary Eats Cake, Berwick Old Cheese Factory, PepperGreen Farm and Abbottsford Convent.

Council officers have collated results of the consultation, and identified the top types of use Homestead that were suggested by the community for the Homestead. Council officers will now carry out a feasibility study of five of the top options:

  • Community use
  • Café/dining
  • Museum/public viewing/history
  • Art gallery/exhibitions/arts space
  • High tea/Devonshire teas

These will be explored both as individual uses and as a combination, to determine the viability of each option on its own or in combined with one or more other options. The feasibility study will use the triple bottom line method of assessment, and look at the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits. We expect the feasibility study to be completed by the end of August 2019.Further feedback on these options will be sought from the community following the conclusion of the feasibility study.

Miller's Homestead and Gardens

The homestead was the family home of the first Shire President of Ferntree Gully, James John Miller, built in 1888. The garden has also been landscaped as far as possible to the original design with propagation of remnants of vegetation including a camellia walkway dating from the 1890s.

Read more about the history of Miller's and add your memories.