Mangrove Mountain Crown Reserve for Homeless and Needy Young Persons, also known as Mangrove Mountain Homeless or Needy Young Persons Reserve Trust and as the Forest Farm Community, was established at Mangrove Mountain near Gosford in 1983. It was a youth homelessness scheme founded by the New South Wales Homeless Children's Association following a gift of land by the New South Wales Department of Lands and initially attracted Federal Government support. The Uniting Church ran the Trust from 1990 until 2010.
The Forest Farm Community occupied a 45 hectare site and was a scheme modelled on Israeli kibbutzes. Writer Jocelyn Pixley in her book Citizenship and Employment, states the scheme was designed to counter teenage homelessness and unemployment by developing rural villages. It was supported by then Prime Minister Bob Hawke and members of his government. Hawke and then New South Wales Premier Barry Unsworth even sat on the committee of the Homeless Children's Association, but residents were angered and the scheme, called a 'dole farm' by newspapers, faltered.
The scheme continued, but under different management. From 1980 until 2010 the Uniting Church of Australia Property Trust managed the site. In 2012 the Department of Primary Industries advertised for expressions of interest for operations at the site.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 29 October 2013