About Garry Traynor

Principal of Sydney Community College receives Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to Adult Education

When Garry Traynor was appointed Principal of the then Leichhardt Evening College in 1986, he became part of a significant educational change in NSW. Taking the struggling evening college, with the help of government funding and an amalgamation with Cleveland Street Evening College, Mr Traynor created Sydney Community College, which is still going strong as one of Sydney’s biggest not-for-profit providers of short course education for adults.

Mr Traynor is widely acknowledged by his peers, NSW and Commonwealth public servants, academics, professional colleagues, and the tutors and adult learners of his College as a thoughtful, innovative, and creative provider of community based adult education and learning. Here are just some of Sydney Community College’s achievements:

  • 1996 received the Innovation and Commitment to Learning Award From the NSW Board of Adult and Community Education [BACE];
  • 1998 was named as the Leading Adult Education Provider;
  • 1998 became a Registered Training Organisation (RTO);
  • shared a Partnership and Participation Award for developing and delivering educational experiences for homeless men 2005;
  • was named as the NSW Adult Education Organisation of the Year 2009;
  • received St George Bank Business Innovation Award 2010
  • received an Adult Learning Program of the Year award for its Migrant and Refugee Mentoring Program 2011,
  • received the National Diversity at Work Award Program of the Year, for its program “Skilled Migrant Mentoring”.

Especially notable over an extended period of time has been the College’s participation in the Inclusive Community Education Program (ICEP), funded by the NSW State Government. The ICEP is an adult learning program for people living with physical and intellectual disabilities. Sydney Community College’s innovative and successful ICEP offerings have assisted students with a disability to achieve their educational, social and life goals in a mainstream local community based context.

In 2009, largely as a result of Mr Traynor’s efforts, the College received Commonwealth Government funding to renovate its leasehold premises in Rozelle. The principal object of the $1.2 million project was to upgrade the aging and disused primary school buildings to provide full accessibility to the site. This significantly improved access to adult learning opportunities for older people and those living with a physical disability, in their local community.

Mr Traynor is widely acknowledged as an expert in the promotion of adult learning and the marketing of adult education activities, especially web based strategies and techniques. Over the years he has moved the College from largely print based marketing to an innovative digital marketing strategy. With this expertise, he has also served as a promotional/marketing consultant to a number of other NSW Community Colleges.
Well regarded as an innovative practitioner across the community adult education sector, Mr Traynor has been invited to present professional development sessions for Community College personnel on a range of topics including: Marketing Success; Customer Service in Adult Education; Developing and Promoting Evening and Community College Programs; and Computer Based Enrolments Systems.
Mr Traynor has also represented the sector, serving on a number of significant boards and committees, including:

  • Member of the National Board of Adult Learning Australia [1999 – 2008] and National President [2005 – 2008];
  • Member of the NSW TAFE Accreditation Council [2005 – 2014];
  • Member and Deputy Chair of the Sydney TAFE Institute Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Education Advisory Committee, Business Skills Australia [2007 – 2013].

Garry Traynor is not only a practitioner of adult education: he is also a scholar of the field, having completed a post-graduate qualification [Master of Education] in Adult Education. He has presented guest lectures to university students of Adult Education on community adult education, and at significant international and Australian conferences, including as a keynote speaker. Among the International Conferences, including the ISCAE Conference in Bamberg 2006, the AAACE Conferences in Louisville 2004 and Pittsburgh 2005, and the National Conference of Community Universities in Taiwan 2002.

Garry maintains a strong interest in the social value of learning and in particular education funding and policy and how government funding shapes and changes organisations. He has a particular interest in how adult educators and theories of adult education have been challenged by post modern paradigms.

Jan 26 2018