When Renee Traynor joined Council as a cadet at 19 years old, she had a vision to make a difference in the Canterbury-Bankstown community.

Fourteen years on, the now Team Leader for Council’s Diversity and Inclusion unit has taken out a top honour at the 2023 Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government.

Renee was awarded the ‘Woman of Distinction Award – Metro’ at yesterday’s ceremony for her outstanding achievements in fostering an accessible and inclusive City.

“I’m absolutely honoured to be recognised for my efforts in working with our community. I’m surrounded by such passionate people who drive and motive each other every day to bring joy, support and empowerment to our community,” Renee said.

“I look forward to continuing to work towards a more diverse and inclusive community where everyone has a sense of belonging and feels included.”

Renee joined Bankstown City Council as a Community Development Cadet in 2009 and progressed professionally through a variety of roles in Community Services, before being appointed Team Leader of the Diversity and Inclusion team in 2019.

Over her career at Council, Renee has been instrumental in a number of community initiatives, including establishing Council’s annual Say NO to DV Tug O’ War Cup, planning CBCity’s 2023 Domestic Violence Summit, developing a First Nations Cultural Hub and Resource Centre, Reconciliation Action Plan and initiating a Social Justice Charter.

Leading a team who work within diverse community portfolios, she has also inspired colleagues to develop their own initiatives that support the community such as a First Nations Youth Group, the Canterbury-Bankstown Dementia Alliance and an Active Seniors program.

A career highlight for Renee was presenting the Canterbury-Bankstown Disability Abuse Prevention Collaborative as a best practice example for other Councils to a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in 2022.

City of Canterbury Bankstown CEO Matthew Stewart congratulated Renee on her exceptional achievement and commended her efforts to empower the community.

“Renee has always gone above and beyond to improve the lives of community members,” Mr Stewart said.

“She is a shining example to all women and young people looking to start a career in community service.”

Presented by NSW Minister for Local Government Ron Hoenig and NSW Minister for Women Jodie Harrison, the awards recognise the achievements and celebrate the collective significance of women in Local Government across NSW.