Acknowledging Garry Robins

Garry Robins portrait

Friday 3rd March marked the final day of Professor Garry Robins’ appointment within the School of Psychological Sciences. Garry has been associated with the School for well over twenty years and during that time he has made distinguished contributions to it as well as to the field of social network analysis.

Garry’s career in the School began when he commenced an honours program in psychology, which he completed in 1994, more than twenty years after finishing his first honours degree. In the intervening years he had a successful first career as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Garry went straight from honours into a PhD under the supervision of Professor Pip Pattison, which he finished in 1998, picking up an international dissertation award along the way. After a one-year lecturing appointment at Deakin University Garry returned to the School as a lecturer in 1999, where he was promoted to Professor in 2012.

Garry has made substantial contributions to the School’s excellent teaching in quantitative methods, but he has been one of our highest fliers in research. His work has advanced the study of social network analysis in its statistical methodology, its application and its dissemination. He has won distinguished scholar and lifetime achievement awards from the International Network for Social Network Analysis and several outstanding paper and book awards. He has been a remarkable magnet for research funding from the ARC as well as numerous other agencies, including the AFL, BeyondBlue, the US Department of Defense, the Leverhulme Trust, and several Swiss bodies. His well over 100 scientific publications have appeared in the best journals of psychology, network science and mathematical sociology.

Garry is well known in the School for his considered calm, his wise counsel and his leadership within the social network and mathematical psychology groups. The new Complex Human Data initiative is an important part of his legacy. We hope that Garry will remain closely engaged with us as that initiative is launched, in his new capacity as an Honorary Professorial Fellow. Please join me in thanking Garry for his remarkable contributions to the School and in wishing him our best for his next chapter.