Thornley and Ellery, who founded the hugely successful internet search company LookSmart in 1995, were revealed this week as the buyers who paid $6.6 million for 19 Grange Road, near Genazzano College.
The Federation home included a cellar, tennis court and pool, and is at the heart of what agents describe as “the Sackville Ward” – the bluest of blue ribbon pockets in the leafy eastern suburb.
Jellis Craig Hawthorn director and marketing agent Richard Earle confirmed the property had sold at auction when approached by Secret Agent, but declined to elaborate on any of the details, including buyer.
Thornley and Ellery listed LookSmart on the stock exchange in August 1999, and remained affiliated with the company until 2002 when they decided to pursue other interests.
The couple now run Pluto Press Australia, a social issues book publisher.
Last year, Mr Thornley became a member of the Upper House in the Victorian State Government, adding to his other responsibilities as a Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, a board member for the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and a Director of Research of The Fabian Society, Australia’s oldest left-wing leaning political think tank.
Earlier this year the businessman turned politician floated an idea to allow parents to cast one extra election vote, for each teenage child in the household.
In an interview with The Age in July, he said moving from “one vote, one value” to “one person, one vote” would break down short-term thinking and encourage thinking about cross-generational issues such as global warming, education funding and job creation.
“A family of five or six has no more say in our democracy than a couple of two – yet their needs and potential contribution are greater,” he said.