National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

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The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is a community-based, non-government organisation committed to promoting and conserving Australia's indigenous, natural and historic heritage places of cultural significance in Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 1956.[1]


The New South Wales National Trust was formed by an Act of Parliament in 1947, and South Australia some time later. in 1955. In Victoria, the value of older buildings, and their diminishing numbers, was slowly being recognised, notably by the publication in 1953 of the popular Early Melbourne Architecture 1840-1888,[2] by Baroness Maie Casey, artist, writer, public speaker, aviatrix and wife of the Governor General.

In the following months, major figures from society, the arts, town planning and architecture in Melbourne began to discuss the setting up of Trust similar to that in Britain. Spurred by the demolition of the spectacular 1870 mansion Wendrew in Toorak in 1954, and the likely imminent sale of the Colonial Como House in Toorak, a series of ever large meetings were held of major figures from these fields, culminating in the formation of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in May 1956, as a charity, with its first aim being the acquisition of Como. A remarkable feature of the people who established the Trust was the number of prominent and influential people, and "the close network of family and business between them".[3] These figures included Joan and Daryl Lindsay, Director of the National Gallery, R T M Pescott, director of the National Museum, architect and critic Robin Boyd, Richard and Mae Casey, Noel and Elizabeth Goss, architect Roy Simpson, University of Melbourne Professor of architecture Brian Lewis, and early Patrons included Sir Dallas Brooks and Lady Brooks, Sir Owen Dixon, Lord Baillieu, Lady Grimwade and Lady Murdoch.[3]


The Victorian National Trust manages 38 properties in the state, 30 of which it owns and has Committee of Management responsibilities for a further eight properties on Crown land. There are 24 National Trust properties regularly open to the public.[4] It also manages the Melbourne Maritime Museum which includes the restored ship the Polly Woodside.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davison, Graeme (2001). "National trusts". In Davison, Graeme; Hirst, John; Macintyre, Stuart. The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019551503X.
  2. ^ Casey, Maie (1953), Early Melbourne architecture, 1840 to 1888, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-550507-8
  3. ^ a b Ryllis Clark, Mary (1996). In Trust: The First Forty Years of the National Trust in Victoria. Melbourne: National Trust of Australia (Victoria). ISBN 0909710880.
  4. ^ National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Heritage Tourism and Eco Tourism

Further reading[edit]