Tocal College to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015

campus-mid-morningTocal College will celebrate its 50 years of education on the Tocal property at Paterson in the Hunter Valley in 2015.

The College was established by the Presbyterian Church as the CB Alexander Presbyterian Agricultural College and first accepted fifteen male students in March 1965.

It has now grown to be one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agricultural colleges. The College’s operation was transferred to the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1970 and it continues to be operated by the NSW Government through the Department of Primary Industries.

In 2006 the original College was consolidated with the former Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture to form Tocal College and it now delivers programs throughout NSW.

Tocal has gained an enviable reputation in agricultural education with a particular focus on farming and land management. It now provides training including skills recognition in around twenty courses with up to four hundred people graduating each year. The College plans to celebrate its 50th Anniversary through a number of activities including a Back to Tocal weekend on the 25th and 26th July 2015.

‘This will be an opportunity for past staff, students, industry and community members to visit Tocal and renew friendships and acquaintances. The weekend will be a joint initiative of the College, CB Alexander Foundation, Tocal Ex-students Association, Friends of Tocal and Tocal Field Days. These organisations have contributed to make Tocal what it is today’ Dr Cameron Archer, Tocal Principal said.

‘The College is fortunate to be located on the wonderful Tocal estate, one of the first land grants in the Hunter Valley with the Indigenous name of the locality now being the name of the College. We understand Tocal meant plenty or big in the local dialect of the Gringai Clan of the Wonnaruah people’ Dr Archer said.

“The celebration of 50 years is important for the College but for the local and wider community who have been so supportive of the College for the past 50 years. We therefore are keen to open the doors and gates of the College and farm for all to see at the July open weekend’.

Ongoing contact for the event can be made through registering with Ms Robyn Papworth on 4939 8865. A number of other initiatives are proposed for the 50th Anniversary year.