Mayor of The Hills Shire, Councillor Yvonne Keane, has congratulated the Friends of Bella Vista Farm on their 10th anniversary, organised by the Bella Vista Farm.

The volunteer group, which aids Council in caring for the 19th century homestead, celebrated their milestone with a high tea in the ballroom of the historic property on Saturday, October 8.

Mayor Keane thanked the Friends of Bella Vista Farm for their longterm commitment to the muchloved community sanctuary.

“For ten years, these wonderful volunteers have been instrumental in working with Council to ensure the restoration of the historic Bella Vista Farm homestead, the outbuildings and the wonderful manicured grounds,” Mayor Keane said.

“Bella Vista Farm is treasured by many in The Hills Shire and the Friends of Bella Vista Farm have aided in breathing life back into this wonderful precinct that has now opened up opportunities for not only events, but a place where families and friends can come together, meet and celebrate their own milestones.’

Deputy Mayor Preston, who attended the weekend celebrations, thanked the volunteers for their service to the significant property.

“These volunteers deserve our gratitude for making a difference to the lives of others, for spreading goodwill particularly in our region and providing an educational lesson about our rich agricultural past,” Deputy Mayor Preston said.

“On Saturday, we had the opportunity to celebrate the work of these amazing individuals who have given their time and their hearts to promoting this homestead, but most of all, adding to our vibrant community.

“If it was not for their support and drive, we would not have been able to get to this year’s achievement of having the 24 hectare property open to the public seven days a week, between November to February, with its very own pop-up café.

“They certainly deserve our appreciation, our gratitude and thanks for the work they do on our behalf.”

Bella Vista Farm was instrumental in the development of the Australian agriculture industry, including the first merino sheep farm and the foundation of the Australian citrus fruit industry.

The site is still intact and has buildings which date back to when the original grant was issued to Joseph Foveaux in 1799.