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Founding Donors

The Australian Agricultural Company (AAco), founder of Stroud as a company town, 1826. First corporate donor to the trust, AAco has pledged its future support.The AACo was established in 1824 as a land development company with the assistance of the British Parliament's Crown Grant of 1,000,000 acres in the Port Stephens area of the Colony of New South Wales.

In 1831, due to the unsuitability of the initial land grant at Port Stephens, a portion of it was exchanged for land on the Liverpool Plains and Peel River, Shorthorn bulls were imported from England to develop the company herds.

By 1850,  despite droughts, depressions and some heavy stock losses, the company's sheep numbers had risen to 114,118, cattle numbers to 8,306 and horse numbers to 1,436. Cattle outlets supplied the domestic market, wool provided export income along with horse sales to India.

The Friends of St John’s Stroud Incorporated has been active since 1996 in raising funds for conservation and restoration of St John’s Church, rectory and parish hall. Members recognised the need for an income producing Trust for to meet the long term conservation needs of the St John's Group of four buildings, one of which belongs to Great Lakes Council. Friends Members worked tirelessly to raise a $50,000 contribution to the Trust while still continuing to provide funds for urgent conservation work on the church-owned buildings. Having negotiated with Council, the Diocese of Newcastle, lawyers and accountants to bring the Trust into being, the Friends have stepped aside leaving the work of the Trust in the hands of the Trustee. The Friends remain a separate entity raising funds to continue conservation work, in the immediate future, on the church-owned buildings.

Great Lakes Council, formerly known as Stroud Shire Council, now owns Quambi. Quambi had previously been owned by the Diocese of Newcastle and is one of the four buildings heritage-listed together as the St. John's Group. In 1973 Quambi House had become vacant and the Parish Council of St. John's was unable to afford the restoration. Parish Council decided to demolish Quambi and sell the convict made bricks. A group of locals, one of whom was on the Parish Council of the time, raised the funds which secured a stay of demolition. Restoration began immediately using local voluntary labour with financial assistance from the National Estates Program and the New South Wales Government. Formal purchase and transfer from the Diocese was completed in 1977.

Beginning with the then Mayor, John Chadban, Great Lakes Council gave encouragement to the earliest proposals for the Trust in 2006. Under his successor, Mayor Jan McWilliams, Great Lakes Council become a Member of the Trust. Today Great Lakes Council is an essential participant in the planning and work of the Trust. Over the years the Council, like the Friends, has contributed $50,000 .

The Duralie Coal Community Support Program was negotiated by Great Lakes council to provide assisance to local initiatives within the area of Ward's River and Booral.The Community Support Program has an allocation of funding which is separate from other required contributions to operate. Great Lakes council collects the contributions. Applications, submitted by community groups, are assessed by a committee made up of G L Council members, staff and local representatives.
The program has contributed $50,000 has to the Trust over five years.

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