As a provider of education to our community the college began at a meeting of Kendall Central School Parents and Citizen’s Association (P&C) in 1981 when the Principal of Kendall Central School appealed to the P&C for interested persons to create an adult education program because the evening classes he had organised (in Asian cookery and wood-work) were so popular. Mavis Barnes and Vicki Pill volunteered to take the project on, on behalf of the community, and it grew rapidly using the School library and Kendall Community Centre as venues. Weekly classes included Handcrafts, Local History, Yoga classes conducted by a Buddhist nun from the Taree ashram, Pottery, and a discussion group. There were also special guests to conduct Saturday afternoon lectures in the School library (including Bill Mollison, renowned for developing the theory and practice of permaculture.).
Camden Haven Community College became a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in 1977 and now offers a diverse range of quality vocational and lifestyle learning opportunities. The college is not-for –profit and community owned. Courses are provided for the communities of Camden Haven and Manning Valley. Training is available at the college in Laurieton, various venues in the Camden Haven, at the Taree campus in Manning Street and venues in the Manning Valley.
Camden Haven Community College delivers training and assessment including full Certificates, Skill Sets and Units of Competency from nationally recognised Training Packages. The college accredited training specializes in individual Care, including Aged Care, Disability and Home and Community Care. Other vocational areas include Business, Foundation Skills, First Aid & CPR and Hospitality. The college Lifestyle Program includes a whole range of exciting options such as technology, cooking, Tech Savvy Seniors, Mental Health First Aid, yoga, golf, guitar, drumming, languages, dancing, building/project management, genealogy, photography, all sorts of computer, internet, phone, app, device training and more.
Camden Haven Community College has over 1000 students per year in the Camden Haven and Manning Valley communities.
Camden Haven Community College is an Incorporated Association with a volunteer governing Committee. The college is proud to maintain experienced, skilled and supportive Committee members. Some of the amazing and long-standing Presidents include Mavis Barnes, Sandy McClimont, Joan Otley and Tony Carroll (current). Joan Otley is the college’s first life member, following ten years as president and more as Committee member and college participant.
The college has a small permanent administration staff, and many excellent trainers. Most students are wanting to enhance their skills and training to gain employment, comply with workplace requirements, extend their current employment, go on to further training, for professional development, to embrace learning or just enjoy the social and learning fun.
Camden Haven Community College is the Trust Manager of the Camden Head Pilot Station, managing the facility on behalf of the Department of Lands. It is a community, educational, heritage listed facility with accommodation available, supported by volunteer maintenance workers. It occupies the magnificent Crown Land beachfront site overlooking Pilot and Wash House Beaches and the Camden Haven River Inlet, and adjoining Kattang Nature Reserve.
Camden Haven Community College has a community garden by the river, kept in a wonderful productive green condition by volunteer workers who share the produce with the community.
Camden Haven Community College contributes to the education and wellbeing of individuals in our and community through the creation of opportunities for lifelong learning and vocational education.