A History of Heritage Advocacy
Read more about the National Trust’s historic advocacy campaigns
In the late 1960s outrage erupted over a plan to quarry Mount Sugarloaf, part of a nationally-significant volcano complex near Camperdown. Local residents rallied against the plan and went to great lengths to prevent it, with some protestors lying down in front of bulldozers.
The National Trust was the first organisation to assess the Mount Leura and Mount Sugarloaf complex, collectively known as Leura Marr, to be of national significance, due to its unique geology and cultural importance.
The area is the traditional lands of the Leehura (Liwura) Gunditj Clan of the Djargurd Wurrong language group, who names Mount Sugarloaf “Tuunumbee Heear” or “moving moving woman”. Mount Leura and Mount Sugarloaf were used as signalling towers and lookout points.
With a clear network of pathways, the site had active public use and was highly valued cultural landscape. As one of the most prominent features on the Victorian Volcanic Plain (the third-largest volcanic plain in the world), we saw a clear need to protect it.
In 1970 we raised funds to purchase the site, cancelling out the quarry licence and offering permanent protection. It was the first National Trust site acquired for its landscape value and is possibly the first example of direct community action saving a nature feature in Australia.
Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers, today it is the site of major revegetation activities, including many endangered flora species that were once widespread across the Victorian Volcanic Plains.
The summit of Mount Leura is easily accessible and provides a sweeping panoramic vista of the area’s many volcanic cones, farmland, and the historic township of Camperdown.
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