ALTONA: Julia Gillard’s home up for sale

Julia Gillard’s furniture is gone, but an empty fruit bowl reminds me of the last glimpse I, and most other Australians, had of this now-famous kitchen.

The Altona home of the former Australian prime minister, at 9 Medford Street, will be open for inspection on November 23.

This Friday, it will be listed for auction at 2pm on December 14 through Jas Stephens of Williamstown.

Ms Gillard, who has moved to Adelaide with her partner Tim Mathieson, bought the house in 1998 for $140,000.

“I bought my home in Altona because I loved the seaside village feel of Pier Street and the Esplanade,” she said.

“The house itself has been lovingly cared for by the first owner.

“Like Altona itself, our home has been renewed and modernised over the last 15 years.

“Nine Medford Street has been a happy place for Tim and I, full of light and often full of laughter.”

Anna Grech, a senior sales consultant with Jas Stephens, won the coveted role to sell the home after meeting Ms Gillard at the house.

Ms Grech, a real estate agent for just four years, was among several agents interviewed for the role.

Somehow, she reminds me of her most famous vendor.

“She made me feel very special, very at ease,” Ms Grech says.

“She took me through the home – she gave me the guided tour – and she gave me her time and she was very very respectful.”

Ms Gillard’s favourite rooms were the kitchen and rear living room, she says.

The post-war house on a 603-square-metre block has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two living areas.

An extension was added in 2008, leading to a decked area in the backyard.

Ms Grech says, in a sense, she has to separate the vendor from her job, which is to sell the house at the best possible price.

But therein lies the difficulty.

“How do you price a house that’s owned by the ex prime minister?

“All the locals, I think, know that it’s Julia Gillard’s house and it’s a bit of an icon, and I think a lot of locals are sad …

“It’s been a novelty for the area as well that Julia Gillard lived here; she was the first female prime minister.

“How can you put a price on it? We just don’t know.”

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