We start the year on a sombre note with the sad passing of Garry Clear, much loved and respected head teacher of Autobody Repair at Ultimo TAFE in NSW. Garry had been courageously fighting cancer in recent years and in his usual style, did so privately with the support of his family, whilst continuing his commitment to his team and his students.
Garry began his lifelong connection to our industry as a panel beating apprentice and, on completion also qualified as a journeyman spray painter. He worked in his father’s smash repair business in Lidcombe for a long time before taking over the business. As a business owner he was always supporting and promoting young people into the industry, a passion that extended to part-time teaching at TAFE, initially in North Sydney, moving onto Wetherill Park, Ultimo and eventually as a full-time teacher at St George TAFE where he rose to become Head Teacher in the panel beating department.
Throughout Garry’s career he has been a great advocate for WorldSkills and has promoted and mentored many young people to compete at all levels. Garry’s involvement with WorldSkills Australia and state roles with the TAFE NSW Skills Excellence unit have included:
- Sydney region chairman and committee member
- Regional convenor for the auto body repair category
- Sydney region trainer/expert for the auto body repair category
- Regional judge and chief judge for the auto body repair category
- NSW training expert and advisor for the auto body repair category at the TAFE NSW skills development camps
- National judge and chief judge for the auto body repair category
Garry demonstrated an exceptional level of interpersonal, negotiation and teamwork skills whilst leading small and large teams of students and TAFE NSW personnel. His commitment and dedication to our industry was self-evident through volunteering his time and knowledge to advise and train young professionals coming through the competition cycles in NSW and Australia. Garry was also instrumental in identifying several Future Leaders of the Industry and in 2018 has was recognised by his peers when he was inducted to the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award Honour Roll.
Adam Lucas, State Manager TAFE NSW Skills Excellence and WorldSkills Australia Program said: “Garry’s happy go lucky attitude, jovial sense of humour, committed and dedicated outlook to everything he undertook will be greatly missed. He was a good friend to all and someone you could rely on. Garry was a great person who went above and beyond to help others, whilst asking for nothing in return. His passing is a huge loss to all who knew him.”
Garry passed on Christmas Eve and was laid to rest on what would have been his 60th birthday. We at the National Collision Repairer pass on our most sincere condolences to Garry’s family.