Auburn | Celebrating 50 Years

This year will mark 50 years since the formation of the Auburn branch of the National Trust. The branch was officially formed on the 4th of June 1973 at a public meeting at St Johns Anglican Church hall, with the aims of acquiring and preserving the Auburn Courthouse and Police Station for the benefit of the town.

Opening of the Auburn Courthouse by the Auburn National Trust, 16 November 1975.
Mr Warren Bonython at the microphone, with Chair Bill Long, Mr and Mrs George Lambert and Joan Sandow standing behind.
Watching on are Inspector and Mrs Bonython, Gerald Moore and two unknown people (obscured).

Two years later, in November 1975, the Auburn Courthouse was officially “opened” by the Auburn National Trust after the Lands Titles office advised the building and land had been donated to the National Trust by the State Government. For the occasion, the Chair, Mr William Long, and Mr George Lambert (Chair of the District council of Saddleworth and Auburn) welcomed Mr C Warren Bonython (president of NTSA) who opened the building. Also attending were some of the past police officers, E Sprigg, H Browning, L White, E Bonython and T Ryan, and many local residents.


The Auburn Courthouse has been used for several purposes since being acquired by the National Trust, including as a museum, tea rooms, private rental, and as a cultural centre/performance space for HATS (Heritage Arts & Traditions) since 2010

In 2022 the Auburn National Trust was fortunate to receive a Waterloo Windfarms Community Grant carry out landscaping at the adjoining Police Paddock to create a crushed gravel pathway leading to a park bench. Since then, Auburn National Trust members have been working on the site clearing weeds and commencing planting of a garden. They were joined by staff and students from Auburn Primary School and Clare Toyota on National Tree Day on 28 July 2023 to plant local native species.

Auburn Primary School, Clare Toyota and Auburn National Trust join together for National Tree Day on 28 July 2023 to plant in the Auburn Police Paddock.

The National Trust plans to install some interpretive signs to tell visitors and townspeople the history and significance of the paddock as a place where the police horses were kept in the early period of the town. The courthouse, stables, cells, exercise yard and well remain under the care of the local branch.

The Police Paddock rejuvenation will be officially “opened” as part of the Auburn National Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations on Sunday 17 September at 2pm with an afternoon tea. All National Trust members and the community are invited to attend and help us celebrate this special day. For catering purposes, please advise the Chair, Leonie Moore, on 0417 856 358, if you wish to attend.


Written by: Leonie Moore