Advocacy has always been at the centre of our mission to conserve and protect our state’s heritage

Many of Victoria’s most significant buildings, gardens, trees and landscapes would not be here without the advocacy of the National Trust, who have been the state’s leading independent heritage organisation since 1956.

We are a totally independent non-profit, non-government entity, and we rely on the support of our members to advocate for our shared heritage. Becoming a member and renewing your membership is the most effective way to show your support to the National Trust. The cost of your membership goes much further than covering the cost of entry to our properties, it also helps to fund important advocacy work.


Become a member today and save the $35 joining fee, simply use code SUPPORT at checkout to redeem.



Advocacy through the decades

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Como House & Garden

The early days of heritage protection

During the post-war boom period, Victoria experienced significant losses of historic places and public open space. This spurred the creation of the Victorian branch of the National Trust, and in 1956 Como House and Garden became the first National Trust property, protecting it from the development threats that led to the loss of many similar places. To this day it remains open to the public, with free access to the remarkable gardens.

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Rippon Lea Estate

A voice for Victorian heritage

Throughout the 1960s we were the main voice raised in protest against the loss of heritage in Victoria. One of the largest preservation fights was for Rippon Lea Estate, which was under threat of compulsory acquisition to extend the ABC buildings next door. The rally for Save Rippon Lea drew a crowd of 10,000 people, and after years of legal battles we acquired the estate, saving the lake, lookout tower, waterfall, grotto and gardens from demolition.

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Mount Sugarloaf

Protecting significant landscapes

Outrage erupted over a plan to quarry Mount Sugarloaf, part of a nationally significant extinct volcano complex near Camperdown. 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. Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers, today it is the site of major revegetation activities, including many endangered flora species.

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Significant Tree Register

Protecting Victorian trees

As heritage laws began providing some protection to significant buildings in Victoria, trees were being cleared at an alarming rate. The National Trust could see that there was a need to catalogue the significant trees of Victoria, in order to advocate for their protection. Since the creation of the Significant Tree Register in 1981, we have classified over 30,000 trees across 1500 places in Victoria, and continue to be the leading advocate for tree protections in the state.

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Public Art Committee

Protecting significant public art

Karl Duldig’s monumental ceramic relief, ‘Progress of Man’, was an eye-catching feature of the high-rise building at 505 St Kilda Road until its destruction in 1991. Its loss aroused immediate community outcry and resulted in the establishment of the National Trust’s Public Art Committee. For 30 years the committee has supported the National Trust to identify and protect significant pieces of public art across Victoria.

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Skipping Girl

The story of a Melbourne Icon

The National Trust played a pivotal role in the protection and restoration of the famous Skipping Girl Vinegar sign, or “Little Audrey” as she is affectionately known. We led a public appeal to restore the sign, secured an agreement with AGL that ensures the continuous operation and maintenance of Little Audrey, and won a VCAT battle that stopped a new apartment tower obscuring it from public view.

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Federation Square

Celebrating notable public spaces

In 2018, we nominated Federation Square to the Victorian Heritage Register, which led to its protection from a proposed demolition to make way for an Apple store. We successfully argued that the site is a notable public square, of historical, architectural, aesthetic, cultural and technical significance to the State of Victoria, and should be protected and celebrated as public space.

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