Former Mandela Photographer and Documentarian is the feature artist at Retford Park, Bowral, this March

Photography, art, heritage, conservation and animal lovers will have the rare opportunity to see an exhibition of the works of Matthew Willman throughout March.

Willman is one of South Africa’s leading, young, independent artists in visual communication and heritage art. He has expressed himself through an extraordinary body of work which includes writing, storytelling and photographic exhibitions across 48 countries, tailoring his inventive brand of communication to the needs of an array of clients which have included: Oxfam International, The World Health Organisation, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Bill Clinton Presidential Library, The Vodafone Foundation, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre, Robben Island Museum and The European Commission.


The National Trust (NSW) has partnered with Willman to provide space for a photographic exhibition of the artist’s works that creates awareness of the fight against poaching, and the need to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned rhinos that have survived poaching or drought-related incidents. The exhibition concept has been guided by Nelson Mandela’s philosophy that: “Education is the key to success, and without awareness and education we would not be able to successfully do what we do to save this endangered species.”


“Conservation and leadership go hand in hand. By their very nature, each aims to preserve the future for positive growth and development. None of us can do great things, only small things with great love,” said Matthew Willman, Photographer. “This exhibition ‘It’s in our hands,’ created over 15 years ago, is a testimony to two of Africa’s greatest legacies and heritage.”


The exhibition comprises 30 works by Matthew Willman, on show in the Retford Park house that was the former residence of James Fairfax AC – who believed so strongly in the power of art and philanthropy to change the world. The National Trust’s event program comprises house and garden tours, intimate dinners, a documentary screening and photographic workshops with Matthew Willman.


“The National Trust is committed to protecting and conserving the irreplaceable beauty of our natural environment and the unique flora and fauna of Australia,” said Debbie Mills, CEO of the National Trust (NSW). “We are proud to give a voice and space to conservation efforts from across the world who share our purpose in protecting places of significance – for people and animals.


“The message of this exhibition is particularly poignant in light of our recent season of bushfires and the catastrophic loss to the natural landscape and our koala population in Australia,” said Debbie Mills. “The National Trust is advocating strongly on climate change and the protection of our natural landscapes and habitats.”


The exhibition ‘It’s In Our Hands to Make a Difference’ will be on show at Retford Park in Bowral 7 – 29 March 2020. Further details are available on the National Trust website.



To Organise an Interview or for Media Enquiries:

Contact Lyndal Stuart, Director, Marketing and Communications on (02) 9258 0113 or email



Plan your visit

Former Mandela Photographer and Documentarian is the feature artist at Retford Park, Bowral, this March


1325 Old South Road, Bowral NSW 2576


Thursday to Sunday
10am – 4pm
House access is by guided tour only at set times: Thursday 10.30am, Friday 10.30am, Saturday 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm, Sunday 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm


Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day

(02) 4861 1933
Entry Fees:

Garden visit:
National Trust members - FREE
Adults - $17
Concession* - $15
Family - $49

House tour and garden visit (booking recommended):
National Trust members - FREE
Adults - $35
Concession* - $25
*Concession applies for full-time students, seniors, pensioners and children aged 5-15 years.

How to book your tickets
Tickets can be purchased at the door or booked in advance to guarantee your spot. Booking fees apply.
Book a ticket to Retford Park: House tour & garden visit.
Book a ticket to Retford Park: Garden visit only.
Terms and conditions of entry apply.
For group visits to Retford Park: Group visits.

What we offer: