Tresillian Willoughby 1927 - 2023

A Brief History

In January 1927, the Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers & Babies (now known as Tresillian) purchased 2 Second Avenue Willoughby for £4,200. The circa 1904, two-storey, Federation Queen Anne mansion quickly became well known to generations of northern Sydney parents, babies, toddlers for providing valuable parenting support and advice. Prior to Tresillian opening in Willoughby, Tresillian’s services were only available at 2 Shaw Street, Petersham which was established in 1921. The Heritage Listed, Federation Queen Anne style mansion remains today in near original condition and includes many period features including bathroom, fireplaces, high, ceilings and joinery.

The Opening

The front verandah of the home formed an appropriate stage for the opening on the 23rd March, 1927.  Tresillian North was officially opened by the NSW Minister for Public Health, Mr Cann. Speakers also included Sir Charles Clubbe, President of the Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies, accompanied by Lady Clubbe also emphasised the value of such services saying it deserved ‘wholehearted support’. ​

The Sydney Morning Herald (Thursday, 24th March, 1927) reported that Dr. Margaret Harper, Tresillian’s Hon. Medical Director at that time, also presided at the opening ceremony giving an outline of the work at Tresillian.  She said, ‘One thousand mothers and their babies had been admitted to Tresillian Petersham since 1921, and 12,000 mothers and babies had attended the out-patients’ department’. Mr Cann expressed his approval adding, ‘Mothercraft was most important in the scheme of things’. The opening ceremony was attended by many people, among them being several members of the Tresillian Council, including Mrs R. T. (Annie) Forsyth (President of Tresillian’s Auxiliary.) Mrs Forsyth worked tirelessly as a volunteer to stage many fundraisers for Tresillian.

The Tresillian Council (now known as the Board) appointed Matron Norman in charge at Tresillian North and they hosted many events such as baking competitions and fetes to raise funds for the Centre.    

Tresillian Willoughby Sale

Following extensive investigation and planning by Tresillian’s Board and Management into how Tresillian can continue to provide the best early parenting services and facilities possible for parents, babies, toddlers and families across NSW, a decision has been made to sell  the property at 2 Second Avenue Willoughby.

Colliers International is managing the sale of the property and is accepting Expressions of Interest

For more information: View PDF

About the Site

Size:  Approx 3162sqm
Zoning:  R2 – Low Density Residential under Willoughby Local Environmental Plan 2012
Heritage: Heritage Listed Federation Queen Anne Style Mansion circa 1904. Known as local item 1227 in Willoughby Local Environmental Plan 2012.
Agent: Colliers International

Benefits of selling Willoughby

As not-for-profit organisation, Tresillian’s Vision is that ‘every child has the best possible start in life’. To achieve this Vision, Tresillian is committed to continually expanding and enhancing its services, facilities and programs to enable access for all parents across New South Wales and help them raise their children with confidence in their own cultural context and values.

The sale of Willoughby will provide much-needed funds that will be invested into the expansion of services and enhancement of facilities across the State so all parents, babies, toddlers and families can benefit from Tresillian.

In 2023, all Tresillian Willoughy services and staff  will be relocated to Tresillian Wollstonecraft at 25 Shirley Road, where a purpose built, state-of-the-art Early Parenting and Education Centre is under construction. (link to Wollstonecraft info)

Until then, all Tresillian’s Willoughby services, including the 12-bed in-patient residential unit will continue to operate unaffected. Tresillian values the strong links it has with the Willoughby community and will continue to engage with neighbours, Tresillian staff and clients throughout the sale process.

For enquiries please email: