Tutu Rural Training Centre (Tutu) was founded in 1969 by Fr. Michael Bransfield and assisted by Br. Kevin Foote on a 1200 acre Taveuni freehold estate owned by the Society of Mary. Volunteers came from villages throughout the Cakaudrove Province to help build the first buildings and hydro at Tutu. The volunteers were provided with meals and accommodation only. Repayment of the contribution of the first volunteers remains a central part of the Tutu philosophy of providing the people of Cakaudrove with a rural training centre, free of tuition fees.
Brother Eremondo who was at Tutu in these formative years noted in an interview for FAO Study: “The struggle that the volunteers from the province faced during the establishment of Tutu should not be overlooked. Youths from all age groups gave up their time and effort to establish Tutu under very difficult circumstances”.
Tutu has been a three way partnership between the Society of Mary, the community of the Cakaudrove province, and the Fiji Government. The Society of Mary provided 480 hectares (ha) of highly productive land, and the leadership of exceptional priests and brothers. The Community provided voluntary labour to build the TRTC and has given ongoing support. The Fiji Government provided substantial financial support for the initial establishment of the Centre and its ongoing operations. The financial support of the government has been subsequently supplemented by various international donors. Government officers, particularly from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), have provided complementary teaching services.