“Kelly’s Bush is a symbol of our lost land. Take away Kelly’s Bush and you take away one more assurance that, in man, is left a possibility for the future. The unborn Australian will ask for his birthright and be handed a piece of concrete”
Kylie Tennant, resident of Hunters Hill, author, historian and social justice advocate 1970
It took 13 women ‘The Battlers’ 13 years to save this special parcel of bushland on the Hunters Hill peninsula from development. On 16th June 1971, the Green Ban on the site came into effect. It led to 42 further ‘Green Bans’ and over 100 heritage buildings stand in Sydney today because of this first historic Ban at Kelly’s Bush. The Hunters Hill Trust, formed in 1968 to fight against the onslaught of unit building in the suburb that was demolishing heritage homes, was a vocal supporter of The Battlers. As these pioneers showed us all those years ago, the courage of their convictions was a gift to the community and the environment!
50th Anniversary Celebration of the World’s First Green Ban
2021 is the 50th anniversary of this momentous event and to celebrate, Hunters Hill Museum have put together a fascinating exhibition. This has unfortunately been affected by Covid closures but, with the help of Hunters Hill Council, an electronic presentation of The Battle for Kelly’s Bush can be viewed here https://artsandculture.google.
The video below is of the onsite celebration on 31 October which, even with the restrictions on public gathering, was a cheerful and sunny occasion in front of very special guests, 94 year old Joan Croll (the last of the famouse Battlers) and Jack Mundey’s widow Judy. See Friends of Kelly’s Bush Special Newsletter
The story bears repeating for new generations and the Village Observer’s report on the 50th anniversary is here https://issuu.com/
Below is an article written by the secretary of Friends of Kelly’s Bush published in the local press TWT on 16th June 2021:
Luckily after two false starts we finally had our onsite event on Sunday 31 October 2021! It was a moving and memorable occasion in glorious weather, attended by our two special guests of honour, Dr Joan Croll, the last of the band of ‘Battlers” and Judy Mundey, Jack’s widow. Read our Special Edition Newsletter here
Bushcare at Kelly’s Bush
The battle still goes on even if it is now just against the weeds! Bushcare volunteers continue to regenerate the bushland at Kelly’s Bush and to contact them or to become a supporter, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read all about their work in their newsletters here:
Tom Uren, Minister for Urban and Regional Development addressed the Hunters Hill Trust in 1975. Read his speech on the National Estate here‘ All governments owe a debt to voluntary organisations like The Hunters Hill Trust which work with dedication to guard and cherish this heritage’