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Visitors at Cockatoo Island with a heritage crane in the background.

About us

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (Harbour Trust) manages extraordinary places on the world's best harbour and provides the public with access to precious bushland, parks and open spaces.

Located in First Nations countries, our visitor destinations are known for their natural beauty. They also feature heritage-listed structures and other remnants from Australia’s colonial, maritime and military history. For these reasons, they have significance on a national and international scale.

Our vision includes making our destinations accessible to diverse audiences, amplifying their heritage and environmental values through storytelling and – through their conservation, remediation and adaptive reuse – fostering a sense of place and belonging.

Our purpose

The Harbour Trust was formally established by the Australian Government in 2001 to protect former Defence sites and return them to the people of Australia. Learn about our origins, purpose and plans as well as the minister responsible for our agency, legislation and organisational structure. 

Our organisation

Our organisation is governed by the Members of the Trust and reports to the Minister for the Environment and Water. Meanwhile, our day-to-day operations are managed by our executive team. Meet the Members of the Trust and our executive team.


Volunteers play a vital role in our endeavours. They help us educate the public about our protected places on Sydney Harbour, preserve the beauty and heritage of our visitor destinations and support staff with content creation and crucial behind-the-scenes functions. We are currently seeking volunteers for two positions.

Community and committees

We engage with community via a range of channels, guided by our Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. The volunteer members of our Community Advisory Committees (CAC) provide input into the ways we engage stakeholders in the management of our places. We are also in the process of forming a new First Nations Advisory Group.

Key projects

We are currently delivering projects that achieve the aspirations for our heritage places as outlined in our Management, Comprehensive and Master Plans. We will continue to consult with the community at key stages of each major project.


Head to our publications page to view the legislation and strategic plans that establish and guide our vision. This page also includes our regulatory statements and annual reports as well as minutes for meetings held by our advisory committees and the Members of the Trust. 

Helpful links

Learn more about our strategic plans and the extraordinary places under our protection.