This is my first entry as the new director of CASE and is simply an introduction. My name is Trevor Cairney and I have been Master of New College since 2002. I created CASE to replace what had been an Institute for Values Research at the college (that ran for about 15 years). I had the good sense to appoint Greg Clarke as the fulltime director of CASE in 2003. With his departure I'm back as the Director of CASE (and yes, I'm still Master of New College). I'm keen to continue the great work that Greg established, but will no doubt put my own stamp on the centre.
My background is primarily that of an academic who has spent over 30 years researching how children learn language. I also had a 10 year parallel diversion into research on urban development when I established a research centre focussed on regional, urban and industrial development. I had studied urban development and planning and economics in my very first degree in the 1970s and returned to this during the 1990s while I was Pro Vice-chancellor at the University of Western Sydney and attempting to build the institution's research program.
I came to faith in Christ as a 31 year old (as did my wife Carmen) and became involved almost immediately in campus-based Christian work as well as work with youth and young adults in our church. I was an associate staff worker for AFES for many years while working as an academic at several universities and have filled various roles with AFES including a stint as Chair of the National Board (until last year). So, I've always had a passion for young people and a desire to see them explore matters of faith. I'm a tragic husband, father and grandfather and love my family very much. My immediate family consists of my wife Carmen, my children Nicole and Louise, their husbands David and Jon and 4 wonderful grandchildren Jacob, Rebecca, Elsie and Samuel (see for LOTS of photos on my website). As Master of New College I have the opportunity to draw on all the bits of my past in a focussed way. As a Christian academic I'm conscious that people's perspectives on their world are very much shaped by the things they believe or don't believe. CASE provides a wonderful vehicle to engage with others in conversation about a limitless range of topics. I hope that through this Blog you will contribute your thoughts and suggestions that will help us grow in our understanding of God and how he would have us live in his world.