Moving on up: Sigrid Thornton dreams of real-life SeaChange

Actor Sigrid Thornton from TV program

Actor Sigrid Thornton during her time on the TV program “SeaChange”.


Acclaimed actor Sigrid Thornton, married to film producer Tom Burstall, is best known for her role in the 1998 Australian TV drama SeaChange.

She has also starred in shows Prisoner, Wentworth and All the Rivers Run, while her film appearances include The Man from Snowy River and Street Hero.

From moving out of home at 17 years old, to the lavish parties held at her Melbourne house, Thornton now dreams of a sea change herself.

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FIRST HOME

I was born in Canberra and raised in London, Brisbane and New Zealand, but I moved away from Brisbane at 17 years old to Sydney.

15/5/97. Opening night Porgy and Bess ANZ Pavillion Vic Arts Centre Sigrid Thornton and husband Tom Burstall. PUB DHS 20/04/2004 Pge 5

Sigrid Thornton and husband Tom Burstall in 1997.


I rented a house from a wonderful actor who lived in Paddington, so I stayed in that area with friends at her house on Paddington Rd.

It was very comfortable and beautiful, not huge but I like to think we cared for it and left it in the way we found it. It was a very soft landing to Sydney.

CURRENT HOME

The front of 2-4 Carroll st, where Thornton has lived for 44 years.


We’re selling our current home at 2 Carroll St, North Melbourne, at auction this Saturday.

When we bought it in 1977, it was an old stable turned plumber’s workshop which had recently sold to a group of young people who wanted to start a restaurant but hadn’t passed their development plans, so we made them an offer.

Years later we bought the little cottage next door and then we joined it to the barn, so it was a gradual but very loving process.

The backyard was perfect for hosting parties.


Every couple of years we’d have a party and we’d invite all our friends … hundreds of people would come through and we’d have bands. We’ve laughed, cried and partied at this house.

There’s a lot of love in the walls — as we’ve travelled, we’ve embedded some of our travel memories into the house through carvings, tiles and sculptures which will stay.

The garden is my favourite, it’s one of the unusual aspects for a place so close to the city have such a large garden.

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DREAM HOME

I think houses on the water are always very attractive, like a lake, river or ocean — just somewhere I can see the water easily is the ultimate dream.

An aerial view of Wategoes Beach in Byron Bay

A dream home for Thornton could be somewhere like the fictional town of Brunswick Heads, like Wategoes beach in Byron Bay. Picture: Getty


I don’t need a vast amount of space but to me the living area is the most important part of the house.

I’m not as interested in big kitchens and bathrooms, I just need a generous living space where you can see the greenery.

And having lived in LA, we did own a house there for a while in one of my favourite architectural styles, the Spanish revival style of the 1920s.

That type of home is very beautiful and often the house wraps around a central courtyard garden, which is a style I really admire.

Actor Sigrid Thornton with Shaun Micallef in scene from TV program

Actor Sigrid Thornton with Shaun Micallef in scene from TV program “SeaChange”.


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