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Space and High Style

Canadian actress Pamela Rabe has lived in Australia less than two years, but already she is certain she wants to stay.

Pamela, 25, made up her mind at an early age that this might be the place for her. “There are similarities between Canada and Australia,” she said, “such as each other’s colonial heritage. And each country has had to fight an inferiority complex, Canada with regard to the USA, and Australia with regard to Britain.”
So she feels at home. And home means much to her. She is one of eight children of a family originally from near Toronto and home there meant a place where everyone, mother, father, five boys and three girls simply had to get along. Pamela accepted our invitation to be this week’s guest on Preview and we showed her a home which we felt would appeal to her childhood memories.
This is 17 Eyre Street, Balwyn, for private sale at $229,000 through agents R. G. Woodard’s Kew offic (80 6161).
It is a big house, home at present for a barrister, his wife and six children, where a large family is bound to feel comfortable. It is double storey, has seven bedrooms, and its living spaces are dominated by open plan.

Pamela Rabe | Space and High StylePamela Rabe in the large livingroom of the seven-bedroomed house at Balwyn

The large livingroom has an open fireplace and the decor features exposed rustic brick walls. All bedrooms are upstairs and there are three bathrooms. The house is nearly new, and there is a double garage with direct access to the kitchen and huge familyroom.
At this point, the house follows the line of a split level, and the kitchen and familyroom are approached from the dining area down a short flight of steps, guarded by an ornate balustrade. Ground floor accommodation also includes a study.

Pamela Rabe | Space and High StyleThe kitchen and familyroom, approached down a short flight of steps, has full view of the gardens

Upstairs, all the bedrooms lead off a central casual living area, a big “landing room” with a dramatic pitched ceiling and massive timber roof truss. Top appliances and fittings, plus quality decor in the pink of condition, help make this an outstanding home in a desirable location close to all facilities, including private schools and transport.
Pamela commented on how well the rooms, mostly connected by archways and the open plan aspect of the design, would suit a large family.
“But they really would have to get along together”, she said. “Living here would rather be like being on summer camp in Canada, everyone together and always more or less within sight of each other all of the time.
“If you have communal acceptance within the family, this would be a great place to live.”
Pamela Rabe is currently playing the role of Helena in the Melbourne Theatre Company production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, in which Bruce Spence plays Puck.
She graduated from the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School in 1981 and went on to appear as a member of the Playhouse Company in several of their productions including, ‘Romeo And Juliet’, and Tennessee Williams’s adaption of ‘The Seagull’.
Her other work includes roles in ‘See How They Run’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Wings’. She played one of the women of Corinth in ‘Medea’, for the MTC at The Playhouse in the Arts Centre.

By John Westwood

The Age / 31 August 1984

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