One of Sydney’s most prominent and historic sites will be part-owned by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council following the completion of an Aboriginal land claim.
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said 1.5 hectares of the Yasmar site on Parramatta Road at Haberfield has been approved for transfer to the land council, as well as its heritage house and garden and other unoccupied buildings on site.
“This is a fantastic outcome for the Aboriginal community who will be able to own and put to use a prominent piece of Crown land that has been under-used for a number of years,” Mr Anderson said.
The Yasmar site is a rare 2.4-hectare Georgian Estate dating from 1856. Its heritage house and gardens feature on the Register of the National Estate and State Heritage Register. The site served as a juvenile detention centre from 1981 to 2006.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said successful Aboriginal land claims such as the Yasmar site support and strengthen both the community and the economic and cultural priorities of Aboriginal people in NSW.
“I fully endorse the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council in maximising the outcomes of this important historical site for the benefit of the Aboriginal community within the Sydney basin,” Mr Franklin said.
Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran said approval of the Aboriginal land claim was a significant win for Sydney’s Aboriginal community.
“This is great news and some recompense in recognition of historic dispossession of land,” Mr Moran said.
“Yasmar could meet many objectives including health and community wellbeing, economic benefits and cultural education, so we will develop a plan for the site with our members that can activate and maximise use of the land,” Mr Moran said.
Yasmar heritage house.
Inside Yasmar Heritage House.
Entrance pillar to Yasmar Heritage House.