Letter to the Editor

Here is some information for you, I personally sighted Bob Hawke and Paul Keating arriving and leaving Howard Road, Minto NSW, in 1977 through to 1979 in commonwealth vehicles driven by commonwealth government drivers. I naturally carried out inquiries into why commonwealth vehicles and Labor members were  visiting the property known to the locals as Camp Haveta [Nudist Colony] Minto Bush Club was it to engage in a game nude volley ball?

Camp Haveta, Minto, NSW, once a nudist colony and a communist training camp

Camp Haveta was the front for the Communist Party of Australia since 1958 and was used as Communist Training Camp at Minto, near Campbelltown, and the land was once inhabited by the Dharug people Also the Eureka Youth League and Young Communist used and enjoyed the property.

It was an educational facility allowing long residential schools, as well as the occasional weekend seminar on Communism. The first principal of the school was Eric Aarons who used teaching methods he had learned in China, the curriculum revolved around the works of Karl Marx, and focussed on the particular problems of Australian industry and politics.

Also Kevin Cook was frequently at Minto, as a communist and Builders Labourers Federation member, and more and more often as an Aboriginal activist.

Kevin Cook, indigenous rights activist and communist

The property is located on the steep banks of the Georges River and across the river from Holsworthy / Moorebank Military Bases. an associate of mind informed me ASIO lost interest in the camp activities in or about mid 1960s as no para military training was conducted onsite.

Minto was important to new left this opening of the party, hosting seminars on gay rights, feminism, radical lesbian separatism, the anti-war Vietnam War movement and the campaign for Aboriginal autonomy. Indeed, members of the Communist Party of Australia were already seasoned campaigners for Aboriginal equality and key events like the planning of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy took place at Minto.

Today the same property has been handed back in Indigenous hands, and transfer of the Minto property to Tranby Aboriginal Cooperative College, Most recently Minto has been the base of the Campbelltown Aboriginal Men’s Group.

From B Ward