Prohibited from protesting on NSW beaches, parks, roads


On 1 July, new Crown Land regulations will give the NSW Government vast powers to disperse or ban protests, rallies, and virtually any public gathering in approximately half of all land across NSW.

This includes public roads, local parks, beaches, or even standing in front of Parliament House.  Only cemeteries are exempt.

What country is this?  What have we become?

If you are horrified by the implications, please contact your local MP, and ask them what action they will take to make sure our democracy is protected.  You can check what NSW Council for Civil Liberties has to say about this here.

Simply sign & send the Petition using the link.  Do it now!

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Heritage of Alexandra, Mount, Ferdinand and Madeline Streets

St Jude’s of Innisfree

(images K Presland)

Members of the Hunters Hill Historical Society and Hunters Hill Trust joined forces for the June guided walk.

We rambled through some wonderful Hunters Hill streets with interesting anecdotes provided by a wonderful cross section of locals – reminiscing about neighbourhood tennis courts, nosey telephone operators, missing mansions, stealing bread from the local baker and not being able to get near the local butcher because of her two growling dogs!


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5 leaders reflect

panel seated L-R: David Gaunt AM, Alice Oppen OAM, Tony Coote, Ros Maguire, Brigid Dowsett (image Phil Jenkyn)

image Karen Presland

After the 2018 AGM business had been attended to on Thursday night, a panel of Trust luminaries outlined some of the issues that had characterised their time as leaders and how they addressed the threats to our built and natural heritage.  They also offered their perspectives on today’s challenges.

  • Alice Oppen OAM (President for 4 years in the 1970s and 80s)
  • Roslyn Maguire (President for 2 years in the 1980s)
  • Tony Coote (President for 9 years 2000-2017)
  • David Gaunt AM (President for 4 years in decade 2000-2010)
  • Beverley Sherry, (represented by Brigid Dowsett)

You can read Alice Oppen’s speech about the First Fifteen Years of the HHT , Beverley Sherry’s contribution: A Valuable and Enduring Trust and Phil Jenkyn’s observations about the Hunters Hill Trust’s 50th anniversary AGM.

Hunters Hill Trust office bearers

Over the  past 50 years, many good people have contributed their time, energy and expertise to protect our built and natural heritage.  Here is a list of people who have been President, Treasurer or Secretary during this time.

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Committee changes

Some longstanding members of the Trust Committee, who have made huge contributions of energy, expertise and plain hard work have decided to call ‘time’ and will pass their batons to a new group:

Tony Coote who served 21 years, including 9 years as President and 1 year as Vice President

David Gaunt who served 10 years, including 4 years as President

Justin Parry-Okeden who served 3 years as Treasurer

Gully Coote who served 3 years on the Committee.

We thank them.  They all left their mark and will be sorely missed. Luckily Tony will continue to provide his expert input as HHT’s representative on Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel (30 years so far).

The new HHT Committee

So now for the good news:  Barbara Dorsch, Jenny Craigie, Maria Good and Mel Malloch were all elected to join the committee at last night’s AGM.  The 2018-19 Committee includes:

President:                Alister Sharp

Vice President:       Karen Presland

Treasurer (Acting): Maureen Flowers

Secretary:                Brigid Dowsett

Membership:          Maureen Flowers

Committee:            Jenny Craigie, Barbara Dorsch, Maria Good, Caroline Mackaness and Mel Malloch.

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Friends of Kelly’s Bush

“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.

The Friends of Kelly’s Bush newsletter has been written by Liz Hinton for the Bushcare volunteers who work to regenerate the bushland at Kelly’s Bush that was saved for future generations by community action.  The new online version is by Maureen Flowers and can be read here.  

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Gladesville hospital walk

Bedlam Bay community garden, Image M Flowers

Gladesville hospital, Image D Baglin

Peter Colthorpe, from Friends of Gladesville Hospital, led Hunters Hill Trust’s May walk.  He took 30 people through the site and introduced the main heritage buildings in the old asylum area, the foreshore and the cemetery.

Gladesville Hospital, originally known as Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum, was designed by the Colonial Architect, Mortimer Lewis.  The site contains many buildings that are listed on the Register of the National Estate.

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Latest edition of the journal

The latest edition of the Hunters Hill Trust Journal has been posted to all members.  You can also read Vol 56, No 1. May 2018 here.  It includes:

  • From the President’s desktop, Alister Sharp
  • Latest news on St Peter Chanel DA
  • New Local Planning Panels, Tony Coote
  • Save the Powerhouse
  • Fred Stamp (1926-2018)
  • Cultural heritage lottery, David Throsby
  • Mysterious George Hedgeland, Beverley Sherry
  • Battle to save Thompson Square, Windsor.
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Kelly’s bush: heritage conserved through protest

Image: NSW Portraits, OEH, 2018

‘Portrait of NSW’ 2018, published by Office of Environment and Heritage NSW celebrates the 40th anniversary of the NSW Heritage Act.  It recognises what has been achieved by community protest in the conservation of heritage and cites the Battle for Kelly’s Bush as an example.

Download ‘Portraits of NSW’ here.

Kelly’s Bush is now listed as an item on the NSW Heritage Register due to its ‘high local significance as a remnant of natural bushland located on the foreshores of the Parramatta River in Hunters Hill. The site has State significance as the site of the first “Green Bans” of the 1970s when a group of local residents enlisted the assistance of unions to oppose development of the site.’ See details of the heritage listing of Kelly’s Bush here.

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continued push to sell off church land

St Peter Chanel Church (image Wikimedia)

The Marist Fathers are pursuing their plan to create two 1,000 square meter housing blocks in the surrounds of St Peter Chanel Church, Woolwich.

Despite vigorous objections from the community and Hunters Hill Council’s refusal of their DA, the Marist Fathers have lodged an appeal in the Land and Environment Court to allow them to sell off the land.  This will damage the park-like setting which is is included in the heritage listing and part of the Conservation Area.

Here are the reasons that Council gave for refusing their DA.  Here is the letter of objection sent by the Hunters Hill Trust.

Everyone now needs to re-state their objections to DA 2017-1180 and send these to Hunters Hill Council clearly setting out what is at stake. Email: or write to PO Box 21, Hunters Hill, NSW 2110.  People who have previously sent written objections may be entitled to speak at the onsite conciliation conference on September 24.

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Military history of Hunters Hill

This month’s walk was our first look at the richness of military heritage in Hunters Hill.  We started at the War Memorial where our guide Rod Stewart explained its move from the corner of Ferry Street to its current location.  We inspected the rare German Howitzer – one of only six of its kind in the world – given to Hunters Hill in recognition of the great sacrifice residents had made in contributing more men per capita to WW1 than anywhere else in Australia!

HHT walkers (Image K Presland)

After a look at other military items housed in the Museum, we walked to the new memorial wall outside the RSL Hall which holds several plaques, including one made by Alan Somervillle, the sculptor of the soldiers on ANZAC bridge, and then we saw the Memorial Tree on Alexandra Street (who knew?) before arriving at All Saints Church.

There we were treated to a fascinating tour by Rev Michael Armstrong of the Church’s beautiful stained glass windows including those commemorating the fallen, including a rare set of windows designed by Edward Burne-Jones and made by Morris & Co.  The touching human stories behind these beautiful memorials were truly inspiring.  A homemade morning tea provided for us by the RSL completed a fascinating and informative walk.

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