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Edina: The Historical Gem Hidden in Plain Sight

“A remarkable survival in a city that has all too often been driven by the lure of real-estate riches at the expense of history and heritage.” 
Megan Martin
Former Head of Collections and Access, Sydney Living Museums

Despite its central location in Sydney’s busy Eastern Suburbs, few people know one of the grandest private houses surviving in Sydney from Colonial times. Beautifully preserved by the Uniting Church, Edina is a showpiece from the late Victorian era, rich in pictorial art, ornamentation and garden features: a historical gem hiding in plain sight.

Fountain and statues opposite the Edina Estate’s front steps

Here at long last is the book which introduces “Edina”—the estate and the families who lived there in its opulent heyday. It uncovers the role played by Jeanie Vickery, whose Scottish background and tastes set the cultural style of Edina, and her husband Ebenezer, a hardnosed businessman, whose approach to business often sat uncomfortably with his commitment to the Methodist Church and his family.

Michael Waterhouse has located an amazing array of contemporary photos, revealing life on the eight acre estate where three generations of a wealthy and religious family lived in a way that was unique at the time and, more than a century later, appears even more so today. Drawing on extensive research, including into the district during the Victorian era, this very readable text conveys a compelling sense of time and place.



Michael Waterhouse is a former Senior Adviser in the Commonwealth Treasury and bank executive. He has had many articles published on the Australian financial system and on historical topics, and is the author of Not a Poor Man’s Field: The New Guinea Goldfields to 1942. Michael was on the board of Edina Aged Care for 14 years including for three years as its chair. During that time he became increasingly familiar with and interested in the history of the War Memorial Hospital site and located many of the photographs which form the core of this book.


Hardback, Illustrated in colour and b/w.

RRP: $65
ISBN: 9781925043754