Tribute to Heritage

Sutherland Shire’s award winning E.G Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens received a tribute to their heritage on Saturday 7th October with the unveiling of a new interpretive sign. 

Our community’s passion for nature has made the E.G Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens an incredibly popular site for visitors and residents alike. 

The 2.8 metre high, double sided sign details the rich history of the Camellia Gardens site stretching all the way back to their original form as the Matson Pleasure Grounds in 1902. During this time it existed as a picnic and boating area for locals and was even used to host the Crown Prince of Japan and officers of the visiting Japanese fleet in 1905. 

“Our community has told us how much they value the natural environment of our Sutherland Shire, it’s part of our identity and at the heart of it is the E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce. 

The E. G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens were established during the Captain Cook Bicentenary in 1970, and contain one of the largest collections of camellias in Australia. Council has made the register of all the garden’s Camellias available for the community at Sutherland Library. 

Also attending the sign unveiling were members of the Utick Family. The late Mr Erick Utick BEM was the founding Director of the E.G Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, and his son, Dr. Stephen Utick, is the current Secretary of Camellias Australia and a Director at the International Camellia Society. 

“Council is committed to providing our community with a beautiful, protected and healthy natural environment, and no-where is this more obvious than these gardens,” said the Mayor.

“This site not only embodies a huge amount of the Sutherland Shire’s history, but it’s also become a garden of international acclaim in recent years,” noted Mayor Pesce.

In 2014 the Camellia Gardens received the International Camellia Garden of Excellence Award from the International Camellia Society which sets out the criteria for the award as being a well established garden, open and free to the community with a collection of over 200 types of Camellias.

Council wishes to extend thanks to the following organisations, past and present, for their invaluable contribution to the gardens:

Sutherland Shire Council Media Contact:

Amie Lindsell - Executive Public Relations Officer

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