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.

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.

Australian Council of National Trusts (ACNT)

The Australian Council of National Trusts (ACNT) is the peak body and national voice in Canberra of the eight State and Territory National Trust bodies.

The National Trusts in Australia are community-based, non-government not-for-profit organisations, committed to promoting and conserving Australia’s heritage through their advocacy work and their custodianship of heritage places and objects.
A nation celebrating and conserving its cultural, Indigenous and natural heritage for present and future generations.

Through advocacy, research and promotion support the work of the National Trust movement in conserving Australia’s heritage.

Policies and Rules

Board Members

The ACNT is made up of elected representatives from all State and Territory National Trusts