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Yass Valley History

The Yass Valley is rich in both European and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The Yass Valley has traditionally been inhabited by the Aboriginal Ngunnawal and Wiradjuri Tribes. The Ngunnawal tribe covered the area which is present day Canberra, and also extends into the majority of the Yass Valley area. Wiradjuri covered a large portion of NSW, but only a small part within the western edge of the present day Yass Valley LGA. Yass Valley Council acknowledges the traditional owners of the land - the Ngunnawal and Wiradjuri.

European settlement of the Yass Valley began as early as the 1820's, following expeditions by Hume and Hovell, and Throsby and Wild. Land throughout the Yass Valley was settled relatively early due to its location on the road to Port Phillip (Melbourne), as well as the quality of rural land.

The early fortunes of the Yass Valley were influenced by the success of agriculture – notably the Fine Wool industry and the Main Southern Railway line as well as Hume Highway passing through.

Heritage places

Items of local heritage significance and heritage conservation areas (Bowning, Binalong, Gundaroo, Yass) are contained within (Schedule 5 of) the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013. By looking up the Plan you will be able to find out whether a property is included or not.

The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) is responsible for managing places of Aboriginal significance in NSW. Further information on matters of Aboriginal heritage can be sourced from their website.

Items of State Heritage Significance within the Yass Valley are listed under the NSW Heritage Act. Details of these items can be accessed on the NSW Heritage Branch website.

Yass & District Historical Society and the Gundaroo & District Historical Society are treasure troves of historical information and may be able to provide assistance in researching the history of your property.

Trove is a free online search service for newspapers, photos and maps including the Yass Courier.

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Yass Valley Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Yass Valley Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Yass Valley Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Yass Valley Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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