The National Trust is an independent, non-government, community-based organisation. It was formed in 1945 to prevent the destruction of built and natural heritage. Today it is Australia's oldest and largest organisation for the protection of heritage. The Trust is responsible for the conservation and management of significant heritage collections and properties throughout NSW. These include 15 house museums, two galleries and gardens. The Trust also lobbies to save heritage at risk, provides advice on conservation issues and develops education, awareness and appreciation programs for the community.
The Trust also maintains a Register of landscapes, townscapes, buildings, industrial sites, cemeteries and other items or places which the Trust determines have heritage significance and are worthy of conservation. In 2003 there were about 11,000 items listed on the Trust's Register ('classified'). The listing of a place in the Register has no legal force. However, it is widely recognised as an authoritative statement of the heritage significance of a place, and the Register performs an important advisory and educational role.
National Trust of Australia (NSW) website http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/corp.pdf.