Paterson Historical Society Publications

All these books and more available at

A History of St Ann’s Presbyterian Church Paterson
Written with well known Hunter historian, Jack Sullivan, it is a detailed history of what was, before its closure in 2009, one of Australia’s oldest continuing Presbyterian churches. The building remains as a prominent landmark in the village of Paterson. Includes many photos and details of its ministers. 98pp 

Glove Box Guide to the Paterson Valley
A definitive guide to leisure drives in the Valley, 48 pages in full colour, with lots of photos. Based on 35 years of experience in the valley, Cameron shares the secrets, delights and details of this special place – from Morpeth in the south, right through to the very cradle of the valley in the high country of Mount Allyn in the Barrington Tops National Park. The book fits in the glove box and includes a map and advice about checking road conditions. There are also web sites for further information. 

Personalities, Pragmatists and Visionaries – the Origins and Federation of Australia
Cameron studied and wrote about the process that occurred leading to Federation as a part of the Centenary of Federation. He traces the tortuous political path to federation, including links to personalities in Maitland and the Hunter Valley. An excellent summary and overview with links the Hunter. 28pp

The Settlement of the Paterson District
This is the first book Cameron wrote, published in 1986. It has been reprinted a number of times and in 2018 a third edition was published with a minor revision and digitisation. It gives an overview of the early years of Europeans in the Paterson District and how the land was carved up into large estates. The most relevant local maps are included including those from the 19th century as well as a range of important early images. 48 pp

CB Alexander Foundation Tocal

These books and more available at

This book shares the unique experience and knowledge gained through the conservation of timber buildings and fences at Tocal during the late 1980s and through the 1990s. This conservation has brought back to life one of the most amazing colonial farm sites in Australia. Cameron wrote this with Eric Martin AM Architect and Rod Morris whose skills with Australian Colonial buildings and fences enabled the works to be undertaken. Covers conservation, safety, environment, materials, equipment and tools, techniques and case studies and many images. 48pp

The Tocal Visitor Centre – new use for an old shed! This book documents the amazing and skilled conversion of a 19th century hay shed into a visitor centre while preserving the look, feel and heritage of the original shed. An exemplary and inspiring case study in the adaptive re-use of a heritage building. Cameron initiated and oversaw this project; the building is now an iconic function venue in the Hunter. 32pp

This book unravels the mysteries of underground silos at Tocal, Cockatoo Island, Stroud, Norfolk Island and Camden Park. It develops a picture of grain storage in Colonial NSW and explains the silos in this context. Written with Val Anderson, long time Hunter historian and researcher, it records an otherwise unknown chapter in our colonial history. A fascinating story and easy to read with lots of photos. 68pp

Cameron’s first task at TocalCollege was to present a course about climate and weather to first year students. He had just survived a near death experience in Darwin’s Cyclone Tracy. Always interested in climate and weather this set him upon a path to learn about things local. The College was very committed to its fledgling weather station and it became an important part of student learning about climate and weather. The book benefits from the expertise of experienced agriculturists, David Brouwer, Darren Bayley and Peter Gillespie whose respective skills provide for a unique insight into the local climate. The text is supported by images of the various extremes at Tocal and in the district. 90pp

The name Tocal is derived from the local Aboriginal dialect meaning big or bountiful which is understood to reflect the bountiful natural of the local landscape. Jennifer Laffan thoroughly researched the topic including much discussion with local Aboriginal groups. The book reflects this research as well as Cameron’s abiding interest in land use and management. This full colour book shows how indigenous people used the Tocal land before European settlement. It is one of few books available on the topic and much of it is applicable to other locations. 88pp

Cameron developed a series of guidelines for the management of the Tocal lands which were seen as worthy of publication. Much is written about how farmers ought to manage land but it is complex, involving many competing requirements. The guidelines were taken by David Brouwer and written in an easy to read format with appropriate images. Some of these images show striking landscape changes over time. This book outlines how the issues of biodiversity, pollution and weed control, management of wetlands and waterways, and conservation of cultural heritage and landscape values are handled on a commercial sized property. 48pp

Maitland on the Hunter
Written and researched with Brian Walsh it is the only history of Maitland in print. Learn why Maitland was for decades the largest town in NSW outside of Sydney. Covers Aboriginal and early European history, through to recent times. Includes flood data from 1820 to 2000 never before published. Comprehensive references and index. A ‘good read’ and a great gift for anyone interested in local or Australian history. It has been slightly revised and is now in its second edition. Also available as an ebook on an iPad. 142pp

Publications and Presentations

Archer C (2017) A Contribution of Belgenny Farm to the Social Sustainability of Australian Agriculture Proceedings of the Agricultural International Museums Association (CIMA) XVIII Congress Tartu Estonia 10-13 May
Archer C (2014) Education for the Dairy Industry – our future challenges Inaugural National Centre for Dairy Education Australia Oration Melbourne November 2014
Archer C (2014) The Future of Agricultural Education Presentation made at University of Sydney Dairy Research Symposium Hunter Valley 20 June 2014
Archer C (2014) Glove Box Guide to the Paterson Valley Paterson Historical Society Paterson
Archer C (2012) Up-Skilling will be the Cornerstone for Industry Sustainability Poultry CRC Ideas Exchange Gold Coast September
Archer C (2012) Presentation at an International Workshop convened by the World Bank on Agricultural Education, Washington DC May-June 2012
Martin E and Archer C (2012) Tocal Visitor Centre; A Sustainable New Use for an Old Shed. Historic Environment Built Heritage and Sustainability Vol 24 No. 2
Archer C (2011) Tocal College and the Saleyards Industry working together. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Livestock Markets Association, Dubbo, July 2011.
Archer C (2007) Indigenous Grasslands of Tocal. 5th National Native Grasses Conference. Mudgee 7-10 October.
Archer AC (2007) From Wisdom to Information: 350 Years of Ecosystem Management.  International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Vol 7 No 4 p322-9.
Archer AC (2005) Weeds & Environmental Change – Counting the Real Cost, With Special Reference to Tocal.  Paper presented to the 13th Biennial NSW Noxious Weeds Conference, September 2005.
Archer (2005) The Challenge of Change with Special Reference to Education and Training. Paper Presented to South Australian Farmers Federation Rural Sustainability Summit, 30 July 2005.  Parliament House Adelaide
Brouwer D, Bayley D, Gillespie P and Archer C (2004) Climate at Tocal. All about Tocal Series 7. CB Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson.
Archer AC and Brouwer D (2004) Tocal Code of Land Use Practice.  All about Tocal Series 9.  CB Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson.
Laffan J and Archer AC (2004) Aboriginal Land Use at Tocal – the Wonnarua Story.  All about Tocal Series Vol 8. CB Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson.
Archer AC and Sullivan J (2004) A History of St Ann’s Presbyterian Church, Paterson.  Paterson Historical Society.  Paterson.
Archer AC (2004) ‘Looking Outside Tasmania  – A NSW Perspective’  Conservation and Heritage Practitioners Network, Tasmania. Agricultural Heritage Workshop, Oatlands, Tasmania.
Archer AC and Anderson V (2003) Colonial Silo Mysteries.  All about Tocal Series Vol 6, CB Alexander Foundation. Tocal Paterson.
George DA, Mavi H and Archer C (2003) Theoretical framework for applied climate education:1.  Adult Learning Concepts and Principles to consider when developing and delivering training.  In Clewett JF., Clarkson NM, George DA, Ooi SH, Owens DT, Partridge IJ and Simpson GB (2003).  Rainman StreamFlow version 4.3: a comprehensive climate and streamflow analysis package on CD to assess the seasonal forecasts and manage climate risk.  Q103040, Department of Primary Industries, Queensland.
Archer C (2003) Researching Ecosystem Health After 200 Years of Change in the Webber’s Creek Catchment in Albrecht G Ed. The Airs, Waters, Places Transdisciplinary Conference on Ecosystem Health in Australia, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle p104-115.
Archer AC, (2002) Personalities, pragmatists & visionaries: the origins and federation of Australia. Paterson Historical Society, Paterson.
Archer A C, (2002) Tocal Visitor Centre: A New Use for an Old Shed. All about Tocal Series Vol 3, C B Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson.
Archer A C, Martin E & Morris R (2002). Conservation of Timber Buildings & Fences at Tocal.  All about Tocal Series Vol 2, C B Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson.
Archer A C (2001) Partnerships – Links to Formal Education.  Address to Pathways to a Sustainable Future Seminar, Orange May 2001.
Walsh, BP and Archer A C (2000) ‘Maitland on the Hunter’, C B Alexander Foundation, Tocal Paterson. (The first print run was 1,500 and it was sold out; a second edition was published in 2007)
Archer A C (2000) Cultural Heritage in Rural Areas.  Address to MDU Field Day, Inverell 2000.
Archer A C (1999) Developments in Sustainable Agriculture.  Paper presented to Pathways to Sustainability Forum, Hunter Regional Association of Councils, Newcastle.
Archer A C (1999) Trends & Directions in Rural Life Issues for Rural Heritage.  Paper presented to 1999 Australia ICOMOS National Conference, Tocal.
Archer A C (1999) Climate Education Short Courses & Home Study.  Paper presented to Queensland Centre for Climate Applications conference, Toowoomba.
Archer A C & D W Brouwer (1998) Tocal Campus, The History of Tocal Campus Buildings. C B Alexander Agricultural College, Tocal.
Ryall K W Ed (1997) Best Practice in Vocational Agricultural Education.  NSW Agriculture Tocal (contributing author).
Brouwer D, Bell C, Archer C (1997) Bringing Back The Rainforest.  NSW Agriculture Tocal.
Archer A C (1997) Tocal Code of Land Use Practice.  NSW Agriculture Tocal.
Archer A C (1996) Farm Statistics – Myths or Facts?  Agricultural Science Sept-October.
Archer A C & Walsh B P (1995) Partnerships in Agriculture.  Country Public Libraries Association Annual Conference, Newcastle.
Archer A C (1995) The importance of rural training.  Farmsafe NSW State Conference, Tamworth.
Archer A C (1995) Injury prevention in a rural setting – issues involved with rural education and training.  First National Conference on Injury Prevention & Control.  National Health & Medical Research Council, Sydney.
Archer C (1995) Industry and in house training needs – are they being met? Agribusiness Education Conference, Orange.
Archer A C & Walsh B P eds (1993) Some Competencies for Agriculture.  C B Alexander Agricultural College, Tocal.
Bell C R, Kinsey W, Ryall K W & Archer A C (1992) Training Farmers of year 2010 – converting industry needs into Curriculum.  Future Directions for Agricultural Education, Extension & Training Conference.  University of Western Sydney – Hawkesbury.
Archer A C (1990) Australia’s oldest Presbyterian Church? St. Ann’s Paterson Presbyterian Church, Maitland NSW.
Archer A C (1990) Issues in Farmer Education.  Presentation at Agricultural Education – Time for Review @ A.I.A.S. Seminar held at University of NSW.
Archer C & Moore W (1990) Australian Distance Agricultural Education – A Paradox?  Agricultural Science New Series, Vol 3, No 4, p32-35.
Archer A C (1989) The potential for distance education in Agricultural Forestry & Fisheries.  Regional Pacific Workshop on Distance Education, Centre for Pacific Development & Training, Mosman.
Archer C (1989) Adult Education in Agriculture – an examination of issues. Fifth Annual Conference of the Society of the Provision of Education in Rural Areas, Townsville.
Archer A C (1988) Practical Skills Training in an Agricultural College: A survey of Expectations.  Miscellaneous Bulletin No 3.  Division of Agricultural Services, NSW Department of Agriculture.
Archer A C (1988) Competency Profiles and the Development of Two Farmer Training Courses.  Miscellaneous Bulletin No. 2.  Division Agricultural Services, NSW Department of Agriculture.
Archer A C (1987) A study in curriculum development for practical training in agricultural Education, Thesis summary J.A.I.A.S. Vol 53, No 7, p113-114.
Archer A C, Drinan J P, Brouwer D W (1988) The Importance of Attitudes in agricultural Curricula.  Connections News Bulletin of the Asian Pacific Association of Agricultural Education, Vol 7, No 1, p54-57.
Drinan J, Archer C, Brouwer D, Moller W & Walsh B (1985) Introduction of Problem-Based Learning into an Agricultural College Curriculum; in Bowd D (1985) Problem-Based Learning in Education for the Professions: Higher Education Research & Development Society Sydney.
Archer AC, (1986) Settlement of the Paterson District Paterson Historical Society, Paterson NSW (This publication has sold over 3,500 copies for the Historical Society).
Archer A C (1984) Curriculum Development for Practical Training in Agricultural Education. Master of Education.  University of Newcastle.
Archer A C (1984) Report on the National Farm Skills Curriculum project.  Connections News Bulletin of the Conference of Principals & Directors of Agricultural & Horticultural Colleges of the S.W. Pacific No. 18 Summer December p 131-139.
Archer A C (1984) National Farm Skills Training Projects.  Connections No. 16 News Bulletin of the Conference of Principals and Directors of Agricultural & Horticultural College of Australia and the S.W. Pacific p27-30.
Archer A C and Auld B A (1982) The ecology of Rumex acetosella in pastures. Australian Weeds Vol 1 No. 3 p15-18.
Archer A C (1979) Pastures species evaluation on Melville Island, Northern Territory.  Department of Primary Production, Division of Agriculture and Stock.  Technical Bulletin No. 28.
Harrison P G and Archer A C (1975) Useful field morphological differences between Stylosanthes humilis H.B.K. (Townsville stylo) and Stylosanthes hamata (Caribbean stylo).  cv Verano Tropical Grasslands, 9 (1):59-62.