Grand Designs Australia

Episode Guide

Lake Bennett House

Series 1 · Episode 5

For 17 years Trevor and Francoise Sullivan have lived with their two kids and numerous animals in an open sided shed on 33 bushy acres at Lake Bennett south of Darwin. With money tight they were sustained by thoughts of the beautiful home they’d one day enjoy – so they both nutted out a unique design. A cyclone proof, tropical tree house that is windowless and based on the shape of a 50 cent piece. With little or no funds, Trevor (a wood carver) is building it all himself (including furniture) with the help of generous mates. The going is slow but one of the first things finished is the magnificent central staircase, carved from a fallen Paperbark Tree. Will they get the roof on before the wet season? That is the question. Get the supplier list from this episode here Read a transcript of the web chat with Trevor here A huge thank you to everyone who donated to Trevor and his family. You raised $20,000!

  • Reminders Record
    21 July: 8:30pm on Lifestyle
  • Reminders Record
    22 July: 2:05am on Lifestyle

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Posted by Gemma48Report
Hi Trevor and Francoise!!!!
Amazing couple I wish you all the best!!!
Posted by Report
I find this couple to be the most resilient people I have ever seen, they are inspiring. I wish it worked out for them because they are people that everyone should look up to.
Posted by Report
Please Grand Designs you have an award winning program. How awesome for you to take a makeover team in and surprise them.This would be a win win for your ratings and in one off DVD on this particular story.PLEASE HELP THEM.
Posted by Report
I agree - this episode is perhaps the best out of the 3 series so far and Trev + Francoise are without a doubt the most resilient and inspiring couple to feature on this series... unlike millionaire developers driving around in sports cars or flying to Europe for fittings... I think GDA really should follow up on this couple given the interest this episode has generate and also because the out of left field nature of the design.
Posted by Report
I just did a bit of research and it looks like the property was sold unfinished.
It is pretty heartbreaking but these guys are so resilient hopefully they will move on to an even more breathtaking project.
Google ""890 chinner rd lake bennett" to see the real estate ad.
Posted by Report
My favourite Australian Grand Designs episode. Trevor shows true vision, what an extraordinary father and family. Hope they are in a better place right now and hope this house can be finished. Wonderful, unique treehouse living design that really works. Cannot believe that the State government imposed the new law and costs on houses such as this already under construction pre-introduction, that would have made far more sense.
Posted by Report
I have just watched the episode today on the home channel dstv.
Did they finish the house in the end?
Posted by Report
I really loved the programme about the building of your dream house. I hope one day you
can finish it. You have such courage and commitment and I loved the wood and the design.
Keep on I would love to come and visit it one day. Can you not make a sort of Homestay
Business where people could come and sleep there just for the experience.? A great tourist opportunity.

Best of luck.
Posted by Report
I think you did a marvellous job and hope one day you can finish it. I really admire both of you and the wonderful dream and effort you had.
Posted by Report
Just seen this episode and would love an update on this family, I realise from the comments that I must be now watching re runs !!
It is just such a pity that someone who works hard and seems loving and giving can't get a hand from a local community. Apparently the house is up for sale - if that is what they want I hope they can sell a make a new start somewhere and perhaps leave the bad memories and severe hard work behind for a easier more comfortable life. Dreams come and go and if you have to suffer that much then maybe a move and new start is the way to go., family and health are what makes a home anyway and that family have more than most. A very happy family and a lovely couple. Good luck mate