About Us

So where is Kooragang Wetlands? Who looks after it?

So where is Kooragang Wetlands?

You can see it here on Google Maps.
Access is by crossing the Hunter River using the concrete bridge at Hexham (opposite Shamrock Street and Hexham McDonald’s). Kooragang Wetlands is open to the public and is now part of Hunter Wetlands National Park, which is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Standard park regulations apply.

The Friends of the Schoolmasters House Inc. (FOTSH) occupy the historic cottage once home to the headmasters of the local Ash Island school. The Schoolmasters house has local heritage significance. It was built in the mid 1890s to house the schoolmasters who administered and taught at the Ash Island Public School located a short walk to the west.

Who looks after Kooragang Wetlands

Amongst the projects Friends volunteers are working on are

  • Digitising a library of books, photos and other important material they have relating to the area’s history to make sure it is protected for the future.
  • Knit’n Sew for Wildlife – making bedding and other items used by registered wildlife carers for care of rescued and injured native animals in the Hunter region.
  • Care and maintenance of the Schoolmasters House (SMH)building
  • Care for a fruit, flower and vegetable garden inside the Schoolmasters House fenced area
  • Planting, weeding, mulching native plants specific to Ash Island.
  • Writing poetry and stories related to the Island
  • Propagating plants to support revegetation and natural resource management on and beyond Ash Island.

Our vision, aims and objectives:

Our vision is for an estuary in which healthy, restored fisheries and other wildlife habitat is in balance with a thriving port, the whole providing opportunities for research, education and recreation for people. Our aims are:

  • To help redress the loss of fisheries, shorebird, threatened species and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter Estuary due to clearing, draining and filling over the past 200 years by conserving, restoring and improving Kooragang Wetlands for nature conservation.
  •  To link applied research to wetland management and develop complementary opportunities for research, environmental education, recreation and nature-based tourism and demonstrate that local industry and conservation can work together for their mutual benefit.

Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project? (KWRP)

The Schoolmasters House was the administration centre for KWRP until 2018 when FOTSH formed as an incorporated and insured member of Landcare NSW and gained a lease with National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Many of the FOTSH volunteers volunteered with KWRP for many years and pay tribute to the rich legacy of environmental restoration and rehabilitation begun in 1993. That was the year KWRP was initiated  to compensate for the loss of fish, shorebird and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter estuary caused by 200 years of draining, filling and clearing. The wetlands feature expanses of mangrove and saltmarsh, and in non-tidal areas, riparian woodlands, remnants of lowland floodplain rainforest and ephemeral, freshwater wetlands.
KWRP focused on adaptive ecosystem management.


As a volunteer group we have to raise our own funds. 

For those who wish to make a simple donation https://donorbox.org/grow-a-native-forest


Volunteers are welcomed and can register with the Hunter Volunteer Centre which has information on roles available. We are a sociable, family friendly place to find fulfilling and meaningful volunteer role. Visit Hunter Volunteer Centre https://hvc.org.au/

You are donating to : Friends of the School Master House

How much would you like to donate?
$5 $10 $20
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note