Dr Trevor Cairney

BA, DipEd, Master of Letters (Educational Psychology), PhD (Cognitive Psychology)
Honorary Professor of Education
+61 2 93512606
A35 / 307
The University of Sydney

Trevor Cairney OAM has been an academic for more than 30 years. His professional life has had three major strands: teaching and research; university senior management; and leadership of business organisations. After having completing three degrees, in 1981 Trevor was offered his first job in a university teaching English Language and special education. He has been in universities ever since, conducting research, teaching and filling other posts, including Research Centre Director, Professor of Education, Dean of Faculty, and Pro Vice-chancellor (Research & Development).

Trevor has been an active researcher in two key fields – early language and learning, and regional development. His most recent university appointment was as Master of New College at the University of New South Wales where he oversaw the development and construction of a major postgraduate building to expand the work of the college.

Trevor has also had more than 20-years' experience within Business Chambers, having served as President of the Sydney Business Chamber for nine years. He is the current President of the NSW Business Chamber and a director of the Australian Chamber. He is founding CEO of Higher Education Solutions, a company that offers advice, support, and solutions across a range of issues for higher-education providers.

Life Fellow, University Colleges Australia
Honorary Life Fellowship, University of New South Wales
Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for “service to education as an academic and administrator, and to business through leadership roles within professional organisations”
Outstanding Contribution to regional development, Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS)
President, Sydney Chamber of Commerce & Industry (2001-2009), Board member of NSW Business Chamber (2010-2017), President of Business NSW (2015-2017).
Member, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), (1999-2000) 
Board Member, Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (2017-2018) 
Ministerial appointment to the Australian Language and Literacy Council, (1994-1996) 
President, Australian Literacy Association, 1993-95 
Institute for Educational Research Award, doctoral thesis Reading ability and the resolution of anaphoric reference

  • CEO Higher Education Solutions Ltd, Sydney
  • Board member, Past President & State Council Member, NSW Business Chamber
  • Head, Moore College Foundation
  • Member, Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC)
  • Member, International Assessments Joint National Advisory Committee


Book Chapters 
  • Cairney, T. H. (2016). Building Effective Relationships Between Home, School and Communities. In J. Scull & B. Raban (Ed.), Growing Up Literate (pp. 219–255), Melbourne: Eleanor Curtain.
  • Cairney, T. H. . (2016). Community Literacy Practices and Education: Australia. In B. Street & S. May (Ed.), Literacies and Language Education (Encyclopedia of Language and Education series) (3rd ed.,), London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Cairney, T. H. (2014). Family literacy research: Key trends and policy implications. In B. Raban & J. Scull (Ed.), Literacy Research for Practice: Building an Australian evidence-base for teaching in the early years Melbourne: Eleanor Curtain.

Selected Journal Articles
  • Trevor H. Cairney. (2020). Seeking unity of faith, pedagogy and transformation. International Journal of Christianity and Education, 24(3), 247–250.
  • Cairney, T. H. (2018). Editorial: Is anything beyond the human imagination?. International Journal of Christianity & Education, 22(2), 95–98. DOI:10.1177/2056997118768212
  • Cairney, T. H. (2017). Coping with complexity, change and challenge in ‘the middle’. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 25(3), 7–10.
  • Cairney, T. H. (2016). Editorial: Applying the ‘why’ question to Christian involvement in Education. International Journal of Christianity in Education, 20(1), 2–6. DOI:10.1177/2056997115622206

Selected Conference Presentations and Papers
  • Cairney, T.H. (2019). The Foundation, Purpose & Nature of Christian Pedagogy, Pacific Hills (Plenary address), School Annual Conference, Sydney, 23rd July 2019. 
  • Cairney, T.H. (2019) Classroom and School Life – The Role of Story & Imagination in Christian Life, Pacific Hills (Plenary address) School Annual Conference, Sydney, 23rd July 2019. NESA approved course.
  • Cairney, T.H. (2019) Pedagogy and Education for Life: Lessons for Christian Education, Christian Leadership Conference, Coffs Harbour, 18-19 July. 
  • Cairney, T.H. (2019) Together, Industry Can Provide the Solutions, TTA National Industry Summit, Sydney 30th April, 2019. 

  • Nora Saleh A AldossaryThesis title: Role of information and communication technology in children's development. Role: Associate supervisor