Put your hand up to help us save Berrima

Put your hand up to help us save Berrima

The Berrima Residents Association acknowledges the traditional custodians of the the land on which the village is located and pays respect to elders past, present and emerging.

The Berrima Residents Association was formed in 1983 by local residents who were dedicated to preserving Berrima’s natural environment and architectural heritage for future generations.

The association’s volunteers undertake fundraising and activities to beautify the village’s assets, thereby maintaining its appeal and value to NSW tourism as well as local commercial enterprise.

Berrima is Australia’s only settlement established in the colonial Georgian period, from 1831,  that did not develop into a major town as was originally intended. Other settlements such as Campbelltown (also laid out by Robert Hoddle) and the Macquarie towns in NSW, and Richmond in Tasmania grew into major towns during the 19th and 20th centuries. Berrima’s development came to a halt in the early 1840s leaving the village essentially frozen in time until new residents started to move into Berrima from the 1970s.

Berrima’s national heritage significance derives from the fact that it remains, in its core,  a piece of colonial history that survived development pressure for over 150 years.  Giving in now to the new development pressures would destroy the village’s unique heritage.

The Association believes that the most effective way to protect Berrima from inappropriate overdevelopment is for Council  to adhere consistently to its own planning rules set out in the Wingecarribee Local Environment Plan (WLEP 2010) and the Berrima Development Control Plan (DCP).

If you:

  • Care about preserving the visual landscapes around Berrima,
  • Don’t want to see ugly inappropriate development, and
  • Believe council should treat all development applications consistently, not for the benefit of influential minorities for short-term commercial gain,

Then please help us save Berrima by JOINING today

Click here for information about joining the association today

Or, contact the BRA Secretary via email: secretary@bra.org.au

We Adhere to NSW Fair Trading's Model Constitution

We Adhere to NSW Fair Trading’s Model Constitution


On 3 November 2010, by special resolution, the membership of the Berrima Residents Association adopted the model constitution prepared by NSW Department of Fair Trading.  This model constitution covers the matters required by Schedule 1 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.

The Model constitution has been amended by special resolutions passed at monthly General Meetings three times since 2010, most recently in May 2021 when the eligibility to join as an Associate Member was widened to include any person who had previously been a resident of Berrima.

A copy of the Association’s Constitution, as at May 2021 can be downloaded at the following link; BRA Constitution



The Committee of the Association is elected by members at the Annual General Meeting, which is usually held on the first Sunday of February in the Village Hall.

The Committee for 2022 is as follows:

President – Eric Savage

Deputy President – Philip Martin

Treasurer – Conor Lynch

Secretary – Vacant

General members:

Jillian Brophy

Chris Mallet

Chrissie Mallet

Fran Meagher

David Palmer

Clive West



  1. Vision

Berrima, renowned for its historic and rural ambience, is a village with shared goals and a strong sense of community.  A village in which businesses and residents work together to sustain its atmosphere, protect its heritage significance and its reputation as a premium destination within NSW.

  1. The Association

The Berrima Residents Association Inc (BRA) was formed in 1983 by village residents who have maintained a shared view of Berrima as a place to live and work and of the future direction of development of the village. This view is expressed through the Objects of the Association

Objects of the BRA

  1. To preserve the character of Berrima Village as being a largely intact 19th Century village, predominately Georgian in character.
  2. To increase awareness of Berrima’s unique heritage significance, which derives from the fact that Berrima is the only settlement in Australia, planned in colonial times, that did not develop into the major town that it was intended to become.
  3. To actively engage with the community to identify their concerns, particularly relating to planning issues.
  4. To respond in a timely and appropriate manner to such concerns raised.
  5. To provide open two-way channels of communication for information on services, infrastructure and facilities for residents and businesses in Berrima.

These objects actively support the planning objectives and controls of the Berrima Development Control Plan (which governs the Village) and the Rural Lands Development Control Plan and the Rural Living Development Control Plan (which govern the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area).  These DCPs address threats to the heritage character of Berrima and ensure that any further development has minimal adverse impact on the Georgian townscape and its rural/bushland surrounds.

The combined objectives of these Development Control Plans are in part:

  1. To preserve the character of Berrima Village as being a largely intact nineteenth century village, predominantly Georgian in character, with modest scale buildings in a mature landscape setting.
  2. To maintain and enhance the existing visual, built and landscape character of the Village and its landscape conservation area.
  3. To protect and conserve buildings, structures or places of environmental heritage and/or visual importance.
  4. To provide specific controls for all forms of development on all land both private and public within the Berrima Conservation Area and the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area.
  5. To retain the identity and containment of the village core area to the north of the Wingecarribee River within the Berrima Conservation Area and to limit the settlement as a whole within the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area.
  6. To retain the rural ambience arising from the natural landscape surrounding the village with minimal number of buildings visible from the main approaches to Berrima.
  7. To retain the open setting along the main approaches to and exits from Berrima, being the Old Hume Highway (great South Road), Oldbury Street, Berrima Road (to the southern boundary of the Berrima Cemetery), and Medway Road (between the Old Hume Highway and the freeway).
  8. To encourage increased community awareness of Berrima’s intrinsic heritage, visual and environmental qualities and the need for conservation measures.
  9. To recognise tourism as an important factor in the economy of Berrima and to actively promote the environmental heritage and natural attributes of Berrima as a means of ensuring the continued contribution of the local economy. In doing this, however, Council must ensure that the heritage integrity of the village is not undermined through tourism promotion and development.
  10. To retain the rural setting of Berrima by regulating the removal of trees within the entire Berrima Conservation Area and Berrima Landscape Conservation Area.
  11. To ensure that there is no light spill from any new development which would impact on surrounding residents, including diminishment of the night sky experience.
  12. To encourage the use of the roads and the “paper” roads within the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area as habitat corridors.
  13. To minimise the population pressures on the village by retaining the undeveloped nature of its rural surrounds and strictly enforcing its protective zoning.


  1. Management

As non-profit community association, incorporated in NSW, the Association is a bound by the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 that is administered by the Department of Fair Trading.  The Association was incorporated on the 27 August 1996 (Y246815) and its ABN is 45 125 270 032. The Association is not registered for GST.

The organisation and work of the Association is defined by the Constitution of the Association, which is based on the Model Rules of the Department of Fair Trading with only minor exceptions; in particular that the financial year is from 1 January to 31 December.


As set out in the Constitution, a committee is elected at the AGM, usually held on the first Sunday in February, comprising a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and at least 5 ordinary members. The powers of the Committee, and office bearers, are set out in the Constitution.  The Committee meets monthly, and minutes taken. Association documents are maintained by the Secretary and Archivist, who is a member of the Association.

The Committee arranges monthly meetings of members on the first Thursday of every month, except in January and February, in the Anglican Church Hall. Motions put to the meeting are voted on and minuted. Meetings are open to the public but only financial members are able to vote. The Secretary circulates the Agenda before each meeting and circulates the Draft minutes to members following every meeting; these minutes are a ratified at the subsequent monthly meeting, subject to any agreed amendments.

In 2021, the Committee drafted a 10-year Berrima Village Action Plan, which is a working document that  is reviewed each year by the new Committee elected at the AGM in February.

Working Groups

The work of the Committee is divided up into 5 Working Groups comprising at least one committee member and a variable number of ordinary members of the Association, who are invited to join each group.

One committee member in each of the working groups is nominated to advocate, support and report back to the Committee on designated areas of community interests and work to achieve specified outcomes in accordance with the Berrima Village Action Plan.

Additional community representatives may form part of these working groups and nominees are actively sought from the local community through their expertise and expressed interest.

The specific objects and activities of each working group are  by the groups themselves and endorsed by the Committee. These will be updated each year to reflect the community needs of the day. 

Working Groups

  1. Built Environment
  2. Natural Environment
  3. Communications, Community and Business Liaison
  4. Events, Social Activities and Fundraising
  5. Heritage and Strategic Planning

 Note that each of these Working Groups further define their own terms of reference in accordance with the objects of the Association.

  1. Built Environment

Goal:  Maintain and enhance the historic character of Berrima.

Scope:  Engage Council in relation to Development Applications and longer-term development proposals.  In concert with Communications and Liaison Working Group, assist new residents to understand the rationale for oversight and assist with design development where practicable.

Activities: Review all Development Applications affecting Berrima and provide comments to Council as appropriate; monitor village activities and respond to threats to heritage values within the village and its curtilage; monitor and engage with external agencies regards roads, powerlines and other infrastructure issues affecting residents.

  1. Natural Environment

Goal: Maintain and enhance the existing visual, built and landscape character of the Village and its surrounding landscape conservation area.

Scope:  Contribute to a healthy Wingecarribee River at Berrima.  Support the work of the Berrima Bushcare Group in weed removal and native plant revegetation. Actively pursue preservation of natural flora and fauna pathways in and around the village. Undertake wildlife preservation and measurement as necessary.  Encourage the development of riverine and bush walking trails as a preservation methodology.

Activities: Monitor and engage external agencies on air quality, river quality and river revitalisation. Promote the development of local walking tracks. Monitor noise related issues within the village, including from the Hume Motorway.   Undertake platypus surveying and support activities such as the Berrima Carpathon.

  1. Communications, Community and Business Liaison

Goal: Build a sense of collaboration and community across the residents and businesses within Berrima.

Scope: Establish shared understanding of resident and business needs in the context of sustaining the heritage and rural character of the village.

Communicate BRA activities to members and the wider community; manage relations with the media through a BRA Spokesperson; communicate with local, State and Federal government agencies and officials, and non-government bodies such as the National Trust.

Activities: Engage with local businesses, tourism venues, social and action groups, including the Berrima RFS, Berrima Public School, Berrima Museum and Churches within the village. Manage the BRA Website, Blog, newsletter, notice board, town meetings, social media and media releases.

Work to brand Berrima as a historic village, encourage heritage tourism while not adversely affecting the heritage significance of the village by paying careful attention to commercial and wayfinding signage, the sympathetic development of public open space and visitor parking.

  1. Events, Social Activities and Fundraising

Goal: Contribute to building a vibrant and healthy social life in the village

Scope: Coordinate and facilitate annual and irregular events across a range of disciplines including the Arts, Culture, Music, Festivals and commemorations.

Activities:  Coordinate Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. Support social initiatives by non-members where practical.  Prepare a generic DA for events in the Berrima Marketplace under the auspices of the BRA. Raise funds for the operation of the Association and for donation to community groups or for particular community projects.

  1. Heritage and Strategic Planning

Goal:  Monitor NSW and local government planning policies and programs that affect Berrima

Scope: Monitor the Wingecarribee Local Environment Plan (WLEP 2010), Berrima DCPs, Local Strategic Plan, Local Strategic Planning Statement, the Housing Strategy; the Destination Plan; NSW SEPPs and Regional (South East and Tableland) Plan for their impact on Berrima’s development. Support the other BRA Working Groups with information and insights.

Activities:  Prepare for a review of the DCP; extend the boundary of the Berrima Landscape Conservation Area; develop ideas for the future use of the Berrima Gaol, including the Carriageworks proposal; develop the proposal for a second vehicular overpass over the railway line at Bowral, in conjunction with the BRA proposal to create an urban park and lake on the Bowral Brickworks site.



In addition to the constitution, the Association has, over the years, passed a number of resolutions, which might loosely be referred to as “Standing Orders”.  These govern the way the Association deals with matters coming before it, e.g. with respect to development applications. One recent example of this is the following resolution passed at the Association’s general meeting on 6 November 2013:

“That this meeting endorse the policy it has regularly confirmed that the BRA only comments on Development Applications (DA) in regard to their compliance or non-compliance with the Berrima DCP and corresponding Council policies and that the Association, when commenting on Development Applications, consider the proposal in light of the DCP and relevant Council policies”

At the same General Meeting on 6 November 2013, a motion was put to revoke the Association’s standard procedure of requiring Applicants to absent themselves while their DA was being considered, but this was defeated, thereby reaffirming the rule.

Similarly, the membership decided on eligibility for membership pursuant to a resolution passed at the General Meeting of 1 April 2003, to the effect that

“Membership  (of the Association) should be open to all residents (full-time or part-time) who have a residential address in Berrima”

By resolution passed at the General Meeting on 4 August 2009, the membership accepted the statement of objectives for the Association as contained in the notice prepared for the village notice board, which were stated to be the same as:

“the objectives of the current DCP No. 14  (renamed the ‘Berrima Development Control Plan’).

One Response to About

  1. Karl Lindeson says:

    Driving through Berrima today I thought I would like to say thank you to the Residents Association. Thank you for backing Council planning rules and laws. Thank you for a town developing carefully and a heritage better preserved than it might otherwise have been. And for real estate values that reflect not merely the attributes of individual buildings but also a premium for being in Berrima and the good fortune of the Association’s good work over now more than a generation.

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