Premier Gladys Berejiklian has visited Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden to announce the NSW Government will establish a trust to ensure the ongoing care and preservation of the iconic attraction at Lavender Bay.
“Wendy has a unique vision for the Secret Garden and under her artistic and pragmatic guidance, it has become a magical destination that brings joy to so many in the community,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“But there is a need to ensure that Wendy’s vision lives on well into the future – that is why the NSW Government will establish a trust to ensure the garden is maintained to its current high standards for years to come.”
The Secret Garden Trust will be established with an initial $30,000 contribution from the NSW Government. The trust will allow charitable donations to fund the ongoing maintenance of the garden.
Wendy currently funds and supervises the ongoing maintenance and renewal of the garden, and its upkeep requires three high-quality fulltime gardeners.
“Over two decades Wendy has dedicated herself to transforming an overgrown dump on disused railway land into a fabulously unique haven that attracts hundreds of visitors, from the local community but also from across Australia and overseas, every day,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“But nothing disappears faster than a garden, if it is not properly maintained – and both Wendy and the NSW Government want to ensure that does not happen.”
In October 2015 the NSW Government announced it would extend North Sydney Council’s five year lease on the land to 30 years, with an additional 30 year roll-over clause, to allow for the long-term preservation of the garden.