National Trust of Australia

Australian Council of National Trusts

National Trust building, Sydney
Founded 5 February 1965 (1965-02-05)
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 organisations committed to promoting and conserving Australia's indigenous, natural and historic heritage.[1]

Incorporated in 1965, it 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]

Collectively, the constituent National Trusts own or manage over 300 heritage places (the majority held in perpetuity), and manage a volunteer workforce of 7000 while also employing about 350 people nationwide. Around 1,000,000 visitors experience the properties and their collections in Australia each year.


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.[4]

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.

In 1975, the National Trust moved into the former Fort Street 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.

Member organisations

The constituent organisations are:

Organisation Jurisdiction Founded Properties managed Properties owned Official website Notes
National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) New South Wales 1947[4] 18 38
National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Victoria 1956[4] 40 32
National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) Tasmania 1960 9 9
National Trust of Queensland Queensland 1963 ? ?
National Trust of South Australia South Australia 1955[4] 120 120
National Trust of Australia (WA) Western Australia 1959 ? ?
National Trust of Australia (ACT) Australian Capital Territory ? ? ?
National Trust NT Northern Territory 1976 19 ?

See also


  1. Pryor, Cathy (4 December 2003). "A force for the regions". The Australian. Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCO (database online). p. 15. |section= ignored (help)
  2. "National Trust of Australia" in Trischa Mann (ed), Australian Law Dictionary accessed 30 September 2011 via Oxford Reference Online, Oxford University Press.
  3. "National Trust" in Bruce Moore (ed), The Australian Oxford Dictionary (2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2004) via Oxford Reference Online, Oxford University Press accessed 30 September 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Davison, Graeme (2001). "National trusts". In Davison, Graeme; Hirst, John; Macintyre, Stuart. The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019551503X.
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