The future of the State Trustees will be reshaped from lessons from the past, according to chief executive Craig Dent.

Mr Dent, who has published a book that promises to reveal the “intriguing story of Australia’s Public Trustees”, says the process of writing The Creation of Trust provided invaluable insight into the organisation’s heritage and social role.

“People seemed a bit confused about what our story really was, what the role of the Public trustees was and why it was important.”

The deeper Mr Dent delved into the history of public trustees first in Australia and then the world, the more he realised the importance of their place in history.

One thing that shocked him, however, was the treatment of society’s most vulnerable and the language that used to be used.

He found references to idiots and fools and lunatics quite confronting, as well as the treatment of Australia’s first people at the hands of early settlers.

“It was pretty horrific to see the treatment of those with mental illnesses or suffering a disability,” he said.

“There is a lot more we could be doing today, but it made me realise we have come a long way.”

The foreword was written by Midnight Oil frontman and former MP Peter Garrett, whose great grandfather served as the first Public Trustee for the state of NSW.

All profits from the sale of the book will go to a public charitable trust administered by State Trustees.

Mr Dent said a number of new initiatives stemming from the project will be revealed in coming months.

The Creation of Trust is available online via