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Place Names Register Extract

Spillett Street

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Name Spillett
Type Designation Street
Place Id 24552
Place Type Road
Status Registered
Date Registered 23 January 2014
Locality / Suburb  
Local Government Area  
  Palmerston City Council
History/Origin Named after Peter Spillett who was born outside London in 1926 and saw active service with the British RAF (Royal Air Force) during WWll. Peter arrived in Darwin in 1951, just one year after arriving in Australia from England. He married Muriel, who he had known in England, in Darwin in 1954. They had two sons and the family were active in the Anglican Church. Later, he was to write a history of Christ Church Cathedral. Many recall Peter walking around Darwin, as he did not have a driver's licence, wearing long socks and sandals. A slightly built, quietly spoken man, he had a great sense of humour. He stood for Darwin City Councillor/Alderman three times between 1957 and 1975, served on the Council from 1969 - 1972 and was appointed in 1975. He was a Life Member of the RSL and the Darwin Pensioners Association, whose headquarters at Spillett House recognises his great contribution to seniors of the community. Peter was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the community on 6 June 1978. In 2004 he won the Northern Territory Achiever Award for outstanding service to the Northern Territory Community. Peter's interests were diverse; however he had a great love of Northern Territory history.

During the seven years he was employed as a Heritage Officer with the Department of Community Development, Peter was responsible for Northern Territory historic sites, buildings and regional museums. He was a former president of both the Historical Society of the Northern Territory and the National Trust Northern Territory. Peter wrote 15 books and, other than the likes of Harney and Lockwood, he was the first local historian to go into print. His research broadened over the years to include the Macassan trepangers and connections between the Northern Territory and Indonesia. In 1988, as part of the Bicentennial celebrations, Peter was the driving force for the construction in Indonesia of a replica Makassan perahu. Peter and the crew sailed the Haiti Marege from Indonesia to Darwin. Aged 78 years, Peter died while working in Bali and was brought back to Darwin for burial. Chief Minister Clare Martin and Administrator Ted Egan both spoke at his funeral. He was a well-liked and well-respected man, as a researcher and historian, and as a man devoted to his church and religious beliefs.

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
23/01/2014 Date added to the Register
05/02/2014 NTG G5
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