13-14 August 2018, Canberra
Robyn is a member of the Crawford Fund’s NSW Committee and the recipient of the 2014 Crawford Fund Medal for her contribution to the world’s food security and to childhood nutrition. She was born and raised on a grazing property on the Southern Tablelands of NSW.
For over 20 years, she has worked closely with smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia as a veterinarian, researcher and colleague. For much of this time, she has been working on the development of sustainable Newcastle disease (ND) control in poultry in rural areas as this disease is a key constraint to small livestock producers, many of whom own only poultry. The ND control activities have included project management; epidemiology; production and quality control of thermotolerant ND vaccine; development and testing of innovative extension materials; community development; incorporating ethnoveterinary knowledge; training of extension personnel, animal health workers, livestock officers and laboratory personnel; and the development of user-pays schemes.
Since 2004, Robyn has been involved with highly pathogenic avian influenza control and preparedness in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. In Indonesia, she oversaw the training and communication components of the FAO HPAI Participatory Disease Surveillance and Response Program from May 2007 to September 2009. From May 2008 to June 2011, Robyn directed the International Veterinary Medicine Program at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in the USA and remains an Adjunct Associate Professor with this program. From July 2011 to May 2012, Robyn was the Team Leader of a Newcastle disease control project in Angola implemented by the KYEEMA Foundation and funded by the European Union. In August 2012, she rejoined the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney as a Principal Research Fellow to pursue domestic and international food and nutrition security research and development activities. In January 2011, Robyn was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to veterinary science as a researcher and educator, to the maintenance of food security in developing countries through livestock management and disease control programs.