November 13, 2020

Tony Saunders

He has lived all over the world but says the community spirit in Hunters Hill is like nowhere else.

Harnessing this sentiment and a passion for fields such as history and art has enabled Tony Saunders to deliver important projects for our local area – and become a Hunters Hill Hero.

Tony settled in Hunters Hill about 14 years ago, following a career as a management consultant and stints living in places including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the USA, Canada and Britain.

He lived on Sydney’s Northern Beaches before moving to Hunters Hill.

“What’s special about Hunters Hill, it’s a community,” he says.

“You feel you’re part of a community here.

“This really is a village and a community.”

In retirement he has kept busy in pursuits that have allowed him to harness special interests and share his skills and knowledge for the benefit of the wider community.

The 85-year-old is well known for his role within the Hunters Hill Historical Society and can often be found welcoming visitors to the Museum, located next to Town Hall, which the society’s volunteers run.

His present role is as honorary secretary, which involves a range of administrative and other matters, but he takes on lots of other projects as well.

It allows him to combine a love of history and passion for the community.

“This is the oldest garden suburb in Australia,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t you get involved in history?

“It’s a fantastic place.”

One of the latest projects is the new gallery inside the Museum.

It taps in to the fine art collection that Hunter’s Hill Council and the Historical Society have acquired over many years.

Paintings have been donated, purchased by Council or have been obtained at the annual Hunters Hill Art Show.

A number of paintings were selected to include in the gallery, now on display at the museum for all to enjoy.

Tony hopes to rotate the display every six to 12 months and in future potentially include pieces on loan from community members.

Tony takes an art class once a week too (having scaled back from twice weekly classes) and had two paintings included in the CommunARTy exhibition, showing at Town Hall from 6 to 15 November and online.

Aground by Tony Saunders as featured in CommunARTy

Haulin-in (Grappling with Adix topsails in the 1992 Nioulargue) by Tony Saunders as featured in CommunARTy

He is also actively involved in table tennis, helping organise about 50 seniors who meet in a group of 25 people a session at the community centre in Gladesville Road.

“We don’t play seriously … but we do,” Tony says, with good humour.

He is a sailor and forms part of the crew on a vessel racing on Saturdays with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Tony also manages to fit golf with friends in to his schedule and is a member of Hunters Hill Probus.

Within the community more broadly, he is well regarded for his lovely nature, with a community spirt that means that even well into retirement, his passion for capturing and sharing history – especially that of Hunters Hill – drives the delivery of special and important projects.

It is said he can turn any moment into an educational experience.

He also has a great sense of humour, such as when asked what prompts him to get involved in community projects.

“Because I’m trying to move ahead of the Grim Reaper,” he says.

“If you move fast, he might not catch up.”

Help us to shine a light on other unsung Hunters Hill Heroes by nominating your hero today.

Please note that nominations for Hunters Hill Heroes will be considered for Citizen of the Year awards.



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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400

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