MA University of Sydney (1980)
PhD University of New South Wales (1984)
MHEd University of New South Wales (2004)
DSc University of New South Wales (2016)
Over many years Professor Emeritus Robyn Richmond AM has been principal investigator of numerous research projects designed to reduce smoking prevalence and risky alcohol consumption in the Australian community. These research projects have been conducted in general practice, hospitals and hospital clinics, medical schools, prisons, and in the workplace. She has carried out research for over 40 years and over the past 20 years, a major focus of her research work in tobacco has targeted disadvantaged and marginalised people with high risk lifestyle behaviours including: Indigenous persons, prison inmates and people with a mental illness. In the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours List she was awarded the Medal (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her "significant service to tertiary medical education and to public health".
For 30 years she has trained more than 11,000 general practitioners and other health professionals, such as practice nurses and pharmacists, in Australia and globally to assist smokers to change their unhealthy lifestyle habits. Over 800 general practitioners in New Zealand, and medical practitioners in China, Turkey, France, Iran, Malaysia and Japan, were trained in Robyn Richmond’s smoking cessation techniques and they then implemented training programs for doctors in their own countries. Her training has led to systemic changes in the practice of medicine as GPs now engage in preventive practice.
She has worked across the globe training academics and implementing tobacco curricula in medical schools. Since 1980 she has provided education to medical students and postgraduate students in a range of public health topics. She worked for several years developing the revised undergraduate medicine program at UNSW.
She has worked in humanitarian health programs in sub-Saharan Africa including in Kenya and Uganda to improve health among vulnerable and high risk populations.
During Robyn's academic career, she has published over 195 peer reviewed publications in academic journals in public health, medicine and specialised journals, as well as 58 books, chapters and booklets. Her H index is 50 and her academic publications have been cited almost 9000 times. Over her career, she has attracted over $20million in research funding. She has authored or co-authored over 295 presentations at national and international conferences. She teaches at UNSW at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, supervises research among medical students, Masters of Public Health and PhD students, and has developed training programs for health professionals.
She has demonstrated a significant service commitment to her discipline, University, Faculty of Medicine and School of Population Health, as a journal Editor for high quality journals in her discipline and provided service to community, non-government and government committees and Boards. She has worked on 13 expert committees developing guidelines and policies to reduce tobacco use, risky alcohol consumption and to improve research in tobacco and alcohol. Since its inception in 2002, she has been an invited member of the expert panel that develops smoking cessation guidelines for Australian general practice and other health professionals in partnership with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. These guidelines have been revised and updated 9 times, the most recent comprehensive revision was released in late 2019, and received a World Health Organization World No Tobacco Day award (Please see Awards section below). She is also currently working on the NSW Health Committee: Reducing the Harms of tobacco for mothers and babies, as well as the NSW Health Implementation Steering Committee and the Community of Practice Advisory Committee.
Professor Emeritus Robyn Richmond’s academic research and leadership, education and major service commitments are:
Research in health care settings
Robyn has led large projects across NSW in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote settings and health services. She has led, implemented and evaluated evidence-based and person-centred clinical quality improvement through engagement and co-design/re-design of clinical and public health innovations including training of health professionals in community settings:
Her work involves extensive consultation with communities, patients and their families, service providers, health care workers and clinicians whose experiences and expertise are keystones to developing and implementing effective public health interventions and innovations.
Service to her Discipline of Public Health
She has been a member of the:
Service as Editor of Academic Journals
Service on UNSW Boards and Committees
Service to the University of New South Wales and Faculty of Medicine in her role as Associate Dean (postgraduate coursework)
From mid 2016 until mid 2019, Robyn was appointed Associate Dean (postgraduate coursework) UNSW Faculty of Medicine, a senior leadership and management position. When she became Associate Dean, there were 8 Masters programs and 1696 postgraduate coursework students enrolled in Medicine. By the end of her tenure in 2019, there were 9 Masters programs and 2032 postgraduate students enrolled, a 20% increase in postgraduate students in three years. Robyn provided academic leadership of the postgraduate coursework students enrolled in the Masters programs offered by the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, and represented the Faculty of Medicine on UNSW Academic Board Committees. She encouraged and facilitated Course Convenors to convert their postgraduate courses to include online delivery, which was serendipitous given the circumstances of Covid-19.
Prior to taking on this leadership service role, she served for 14 years in two separate terms as Director of the Postgraduate Research Degree Programs in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (2008-2016 and 1997-2003). The program significantly developed and expanded during her tenure as she oversaw completion of Public Health postgraduate research degree students. In 2008, there were 124 students in the higher degree research programs (18 international students and 106 domestic students). However, by 2016 that number had grown to 187 postgraduate students studying research degrees (26 international students and 161 domestic students), an increase of 50% during her service in this position.
Her major service commitment also included representing the Faculty of Medicine on several committees which are held regularly and listed below.
Service to non-government and government boards and committees
Service on International Boards and Committees
Emeritus Professor Robyn Richmond’s work has been recognised by numerous awards and distinctions by her scientific and public health peers for her eminent career in research and translation of research findings into practice, policy, mentoring and education for the benefit of Australians. These prestigious honours are testimonies to the high esteem and standing she is held by her peers and health organisations. She has received awards for the range of her translational public health work including awards for leadership in research, outstanding public health teaching and training, and for her wide-ranging community and public health activities. Her work has led to significant improvements in the nation’s health through raising awareness of risk factors and providing interventions to change behaviour, in particular, her smoking cessation translational research. The following is a list of 20 awards and distinctions she has won which includes links for further information with accompanying photos.
Emeritus Professor Robyn Richmond has received research funding grants over her career totalling over $20million (including over $10million Category 1 funding) from a range of funding sources such as the Heart Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Commonwealth Department of Health, the NSW Ministry of Health, and from industry.