The National Trusts are Australia’s leading conservation organisations. Our mission, which started with the conservation of historic Sydney architecture, has grown to include natural, Indigenous and cultural heritage in every state and territory.

The Australian National Trust movement was established in New South Wales in 1945 by Annie Wyatt who, along with a group of other citizens, raised community consciousness of widespread destruction of the built and natural heritage in Sydney.

The National Trust movement quickly spread across Australia with the other States establishing National Trust offices throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. The Northern and Australian Capital Territories were the last to establish a National Trust in 1976. Each State and Territory National Trust is fully autonomous entity in its own right responsible for managing its own affairs.

The National Trusts are the only conservation organisations in Australia concerned with all aspects of heritage, natural and cultural, tangible and intangible. We are the pre-eminent independent community bodies that promote conservation of and access to Australia’s unique natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage.

The National Trusts advocates for policies and positions and does not endorse individual candidates or political parties.

We rely heavily on community support generated through membership subscriptions, sponsorship, donations and bequests, property admissions and retail sales. Of the collective total operational revenue generated by the organisation less than 10% is sourced from government.

Collectively the organisation owns or manages over 300 heritage places (the majority held in perpetuity), manages a volunteer workforce of 7000 while also employing about 350 people nationwide.

National Trusts of Australia

The National Trusts of Australia (Australian Council of National Trusts) is the national body representing each state and territory National Trust. It is the peak heritage body in Australia responsible for advocating for better heritage funding and heritage policy outcomes for the Australian people.

The National Trusts of Australia is responsible for monitoring, assessing and acting upon issues which impact directly and indirectly on the conservation of the nation’s heritage. It is dedicated to promoting and fostering public appreciation, understanding and knowledge of the nation’s heritage.

The National Trusts of Australia works to procure and protect heritage places, structures, lands, environments and objects for the public benefit and assist through encouragement, support, instruction and cooperation with individuals or other organisations intent on the same purpose. It advocates for the protection of important natural and environmental landscapes in this country.

It undertakes research and investigation in support of heritage and conservation, and works with foreign heritage bodies, acting as an international liaison role, including representational duties where appropriate, aimed at sharing information and knowledge.

The National Trusts of Australia provides forums for communication to ensure the sharing of information and knowledge on heritage.

Meet our Board Members.

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Working with the significant support of the National Trust in Victoria, the ACNT has made concerted efforts to gain Commonwealth Government financial compensation for the considerable financial impact on the National Trusts of Australia as a result of the enforced closure of revenue generating venues providing essential income supporting National Trust places and operations.