The buildings we now know as Murray Valley Private Hospital in Norsdvan Drive, Wodonga were opened in March 1978 as Clyde Cameron College - headquarters of TUTA, the Australian Trade Training Authority.
Constructed as 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 jointly constructed by Costain Australia and MA & AW 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.
Accommodation at Clyde Cameron College, mostly single rooms, could house 70 students at a time, with about 1200 students to go through each year.
There were 200 unions involved in the specialised TUTA 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 in a hasty move by the Whitlam Labor government before it was thrown out of office. It was named for the then labour minister, Clyde Cameron.
The incoming Fraser Coalition government gave begrudging support to the establishment of TUTA, but only agreed to continue construction of the college on account of its status as being politically neutral.
In the mid-1980s, the ACTU started having direct involvement in the operations of TUTA.
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 evaporated. 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.
Wodonga Historical Society meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 2pm in the Wodonga Football Club rooms. To view the society's collection, visit its display room at 19 South Street, Wodonga, open on the first Sunday of each month from 1-4pm or by arrangement. Volunteers are in attendance most Wednesday afternoons from 1-3pm.
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