National Trust of Australia

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Australian Council of National Trusts
Founded5 February 1965;57 years ago (1965-02-05)
Founder Annie Forsyth Wyatt
Type National peak body for national trusts; public company, limited by guarantee
ABN: 54 008 444 684
Registration no.ACN: 008 444 684
Area served

The National Trust of Australia, officially the Australian Council of National Trusts (ACNT), is the Australian national peak body for community-based, non-government non-profit organisations committed to promoting and conserving Australia's Indigenous, natural and historic heritage. The umbrella body was incorporated in 1965, with member organisations in every state and territory of Australia.



Annie Wyatt home, Gordon (1)Annie Wyatt home Gordon.jpg
Annie Wyatt home, Gordon

Modelled on the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty and inspired by local campaigns to conserve native bushland and preserve old buildings, the first Australian National Trusts were formed in New South Wales in 1945, South Australia in 1955 and Victoria in 1956; followed later in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. [1] The two Territory Trusts were the last to be founded, in 1976 (see below).

The driving force behind the establishment of the National Trust in Australia was Annie Forsyth Wyatt (1885–1961). She lived for much of her life in a cottage in Gordon, New South Wales, which is still standing. She was living in the Sydney suburb of St Ives when she died.

The organisation was incorporated in 1965. The umbrella body federates the eight autonomous National Trusts in each Australian state and internal self-governing territory, providing them with a national secretariat and a national and international presence. [2] [3]


the Australian national peak body for community-based, non-government non-profit organisations committed to promoting and conserving Australia's Indigenous, natural and historic heritage. [4]

Collectively, the constituent National Trusts own or manage over 300 heritage places (the majority held in perpetuity), and manage a volunteer workforce of 7,000 while also employing about 350 people nationwide, as of 2020. Around 1,000,000 visitors experience the properties and their collections in Australia each year. [5]

Constituent organisations

As of 2020, the National Trust's constituent organisations were:

Official websiteNotes
National Trust of Australia (ACT) Australian Capital Territory 197600 [6]
National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) New South Wales 19471838 [1]
National Trust of Australia (Northern Territory) Northern Territory 197619 ? Founded by Adele Purvis, of Woodgreen Station. [7] [8]
National Trust of Queensland Queensland 1963 ? ?
National Trust of South Australia (NTSA) South Australia 1955120120 [1]
National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) Tasmania 196099
National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Victoria 19564032 [1]
National Trust of Australia (WA) Western Australia 1959 ? ?


In 1975, the National Trust moved into the former Fort Street High School building on Observatory Hill, after the girls' school moved to Petersham to be reunited with the boys' school, which had moved in 1916. The distinctive building, which retains its appearance from the time of its conversion to a school in 1849, is visible from the approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.[ citation needed ]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Davison, Graeme (2001). "National trusts". In Davison, Graeme; Hirst, John; Macintyre, Stuart (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0195515039.
  2. Mann, Trischa (ed.). "National Trust of Australia". Australian Law Dictionary. via Oxford Reference Online, Oxford University Press.
  3. Moore, Bruce Moore, ed. (2004). "National Trust". The Australian Oxford Dictionary (2nd ed.). via Oxford Reference Online, Oxford University Press.
  4. Pryor, Cathy (4 December 2003). "A force for the regions". The Australian . Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCO (database online). p. 15.
  5. "About Us". National Trust of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  6. "About Us – ACT". National Trust of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. "Mr. Bob and Mrs. Adele Purvis" (photo + text description). Territory Stories. Library & Archives NT. 19 March 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  8. "About Us – NT". National Trust of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2020.

Further reading