Liberation and development in Glebe at Tranby College
In Glebe, the leafy suburb of Sydney, one can find a connection between the Australian labor movement, Anglo-Catholic Anglicanism, and the Territory of Papua at Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative College. Alf Clint was a labor activist who was drawn to the Christian socialism of the Anglo-Catholic community based at Christ Church St Laurence in Sydney. He eventually became ordained as a minister and took up work in a rural mission to Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Territory. His political views alienated him from the Anglican mission body and he left for Gona, Papua, where as a missionary he advised local communities on how to start up agricultural cooperatives. Returning to Sydney, he wanted to set up a training school for Aborigines to train them in running their own cooperative businesses. Under the Anglican Board of Missions, he founded Tranby Co-operative College. The school resided in Tranby, an old manor house on Mansfield Street in Glebe. Eventually the cooperative section of the mission was spun off as Co-Operatives for Aborigines Limited.
Several themes of Australian history and settler Australian relations with indigenous Australians and Melanesians come together in Clint’s life. He was a radical who worked for the liberation and social equality of indigenous Australians, ultimately finding a branch of the Anglican church that would nourish this effort. This led him to work for the economic development and integration of Papuans and Aborigines as means to their self-determination. Tranby is today an independent and cooperatively administered school which uses practical education as a means to empowerment.