Beleura House and Gardens at Mornington

About Us

Beleura is a heritage house museum with five hectares of gardens located in Mornington. It is classified of State significance on the Victorian Heritage register for its architectural and cultural merit.

As a 'living museum', Beleura is open to the public for educational and cultural activities – a place of historic and educational interest for the public benefit and education of the people of Victoria in accordance with the last owner John Tallis’ bequest.

The House 

Built in 1865, architect Joseph Reed designed Beleura for successful merchant James Butchart. The House is significant for its architecture, history and collection and includes the original furnishings of its last owner Jack Morton (John) Tallis  who passed away in 1996.

The original collection belongs to the House, where homewares, antique furniture and paintings chosen by Sir George Tallis reveal how people lived in the past. His son and last resident, John Tallis, left a collection of artworks and books that remain in situ, while his three automobiles form a unique collection of cars owned by one owner over decades.

Beleura was officially classified in 1974 by the Heritage Council of Victoria for its architectural and historical significance at a State level.


The five hectares property include formal gardens gardens designed and influenced by a succession of owners including George Tallis, Amelia Lady Tallis and John Tallis.  In the 1920s, landscape designer Edna Walling drew plans for parts of the front garden further developed by architect Harold Desbrowe - Annear.


As a museum, Beleura holds around 25,000 objects in separate collections including original items owned by the Tallis family, ceramics by Klytie Pate, performing arts photography collections and original theatre costume designs.


Mr. John Tallis (1911 - 1996)

The Tallis Foundation

John Tallis, the last owner and resident of Beleura, set up the Tallis Foundation as an independent organisation of trustees to open Beleura to the public as ‘a living museum.’

Beleura is a place of historic and educational interest and available to all members of the public through tours and events.

Trustees, staff, and volunteers work together in accord with the wishes of John Tallis to create an engaging and authentic historic site and heritage gardens with associated collections.

Trustees of The Tallis Foundation use income generated from the investments of the Foundation and raised by visitor programmes to ensure the maintenance and preservation of Beleura, its collections, and gardens.

In 2017 Beleura was accredited under the Museums Australia Museum Accreditation program as a museum that met accepted standards governing operations, collection management, museum interpretation and purpose.


THIS PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION The Trustees of the Tallis Foundation

roger gilchrist 650

Chairman - Roger Gilchrist


Roger is a former senior tax partner and board member of Ernst & Young.  He acted for many family owned businesses and prominent private clients, including the Tallis family, during his 40 years in public practice.

Roger is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Anthony Knight OAM
Kristin Stegley AM

Director - Anthony Knight OAM


Anthony had an early career in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

He subsequently became a gallerist specialising in First Nations Art and continues in this venture today. In 1988 he was invited to join the board of the Johnston Collection and appointed Director of the Johnson Collection in 1990.

Anthony joined the National Trust of Victoria in 1968 and was elected to the National Trust board in 1989 and at times served as Vice President , Deputy Chairman and National Trust Alternate Member of the Heritage Council. He was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in 2019.

In 1996 he was named as a Trustee and then board member of The Tallis Foundation, and became Director of Beleura The House and Garden in 2000.

He was awarded an OAM for service to Heritage and the Arts in 2007.

Director - Kristin Stegley AM


Kristin has qualifications from Latrobe and Deakin Universities and The Study Centre for the History of Fine & Decorative Arts (London).

An arts educator for over 20 years, Kristin has been a local government Councillor, and Trustee of several philanthropic Foundations. Kristin has extensive leadership experience in the Victorian cultural, philanthropic and local government sectors. She has volunteered with the National Trust for many years to promote the importance and value of heritage to our cultural well being. She has served as both Deputy Chair and Chair of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), and is the ongoing founding President of the National Trust of Victoria Foundation.

In 2012 she was awarded an OAM and in 2023 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to heritage advocacy and to the community.

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