Welcome to Whitby Falls Farm
'Whitby Falls Estate' was granted in 1848 to early European settler Henry Mead for pastoral and farming purposes. The property was owned by John Wellard and William Paterson before the State purchased the property in 1897. From this date, Whitby Falls Hostel was the longest operating facility in Western Australia for the care and treatment of people with mental illness.
In November 2013, Murdoch University entered into a 42 year lease with the National Trust of Western Australia for the 203 hectare heritage listed property at Whitby Falls Farm. The development of the farm site will support the expansion of research and teaching facilities initially for veterinary science, animal science, environmental science, forensics, water-related courses and other disciplines beyond the current veterinary and agricultural focus of the site.
Works to the value of $3 million have been undertaken to ensure the heritage values of the farm are protected and to restore the property as an operational working farm. The working farm is the first stage and will support future development for onsite teaching and research facilities, initially for the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, and then for multi-purpose University facilities that will provide teaching and research opportunities for a broad range of disciplines.
Through engagement with Local, Federal and State governments and industry partners, Murdoch University has the opportunity to align this future development and uses with real life problems and needs of businesses in the region. These may include: economic/jobs growth in agriculture; biosecurity of food industry; provision of knowledge to Asian markets; creation of a potential local innovation centre; retention of traditional agricultural uses; promotion of alternative agricultural uses and engagement in recycled water trials.
The final draft of the masterplan for the Farm will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.