Robin began her professional education in social work via the Bachelor of Social Sciences in Social Work at Preston Institute of Technology (RMIT), graduating in 1978. She has worked as a social worker in various fields (including disability services, mental health, primary health, child protection and substitute care, older person's mental health and health promotion with older people) and for government, hospitals and NGO's in her 30 plus year career in social work practice.
Mental health of older people became the focus of Robin's career in 1986 when she inadvertently became a foundation worker in a Hume region team which established one of the first models of interdisciplinary community psychiatric assessment of older people in Victoria and loved the work. In 1998 Robin returned to this field of practice, beginning 10 years (until 2006) as a project worker for the Aged Psychiatry Service, Northeast Health Wangaratta, where she worked with older people as mentors in developing and facilitating a range of innovative group based mental health education and health promotion programs and depression support initiatives.
Robin began her academic career as a sessional lecturer and tutor in social work and social gerontology at La Trobe University (1992 – 2001) before commencing a part-time position with Charles Sturt University in the Gerontology courses in 2005.
Robin was appointed as Course Coordinator/Lecturer in Gerontology, in 2007, and, since the move to Course Directors, continues to teach a broad range of gerontology subjects and contribute to gerontology course development within the school. Robin has enjoyed the challenges of curriculum renewal, course restructuring and subject development, as well as enjoying teaching diverse health professionals keen to develop their practice in this specialist field. She has contributed to the rapid growth of the Master of Gerontology course and developed a strong focus on social determinants of health in ageing, health promotion in ageing and interdisciplinary practice relevance of the courses to professional health practitioners from a range of disciplines.
Robin teaches in the following areas:
Robin's research interests are in:
She is currently working to complete her thesis, 'An autoethnographic study of an academic's teaching and learning in practice-based gerontology education.'