Clyde Cameron College

The buildings we now know as Murray Valley Private Hospital in Norsdvan Drive were built and opened in March 1978 as the Clyde Cameron College, the headquarters of TUTA, the Australian Trade Training Authority.

At a cost of $6.5 million it was the result of a long hard battle between union leaders and MPs to establish a training institution for unionists. It turned out to be one of the most expensive buildings of similar size in Australia at the time.

The building was constructed jointly by Costain Australia Lt and M.A. & A.W. Chick of Albury.

It was built as an eclectic array of buildings linked by walkways of pre-cast concrete pipes.  Inside the wiring and pipes were left exposed and painted in primary colours to show off the workmanship.

The accommodation, most of them single rooms, were able to house 70 students at a time with 1200 students to go through each year.  There were 200 unions involved in the TUTA specialised training program, and the Centre for Continuing Education at ANU guided the development of the curriculum in the early years.  Training included the role of the job representative, communications, handling members’ problems, workers compensation and safety.

TUTA was established under the Trade Union Training Authority Act 1975; a hasty attempt by the Whitlam Labour government to establish such an organisation before the government was thrown out of office.  It was named for the then serving Minister for Labour, Clyde Cameron.  The incoming Fraser Coalition government gave begrudging support for the establishment of TUTA, but only agreed to continue the building of the College on account of its status as being politically neutral.

In the mid 1980’s the ACTU started having direct involvement in the operations of TUTA, the teaching changed from participant-centred to instructive and enrolments and student satisfaction fell.  This change meant the support which TUTA had received from the Coalition had evaporated and the abolition of TUTA was proposed and finally enacted in 1996.

In 1998 the building was sold to private owners who converted it to a hospital for the treatment of cancer patients.