Professor Arbon is a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor, Director of the Torrens Resilience Institute and Professor of Nursing (Population Health). The Torrens Resilience Institute was established in 2009 to improve the capacity of organsiations and societies to respond to disruptive challenges that have the potential to overwhelm local disaster management capabilities and plans. Current research and development is focused on community and organisational resilience, mass gathering management and health security. The Institute hosts the City Security and Resilience Networks for Australia and Asia, the International Council of Nurses (ICNP) Centre for Disaster Nursing and the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Mass Gatherings and Global Health Security.
Professor Arbon is Past President of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, former Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University, a member the International Health Regulations Roster of Experts, Editorial Board Member of the disaster health journal Pre Hospital and Disaster Medicine and Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and the American Academy of Nursing.
Australian National Medal, for diligent long service to the community in hazardous circumstances, including in times of emergency and national disaster, in direct protection of life and property (1991).
Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ), for exemplary leadership and service to St John Ambulance Australia (2009).
Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for contribution to the Australian community, particularly in the role of Chief Commissioner: St John Ambulance Australia and for Nursing Education and Research. Queens Birthday honours (2004).
Current research projects focus on disaster and security resilience through community capacity and organisational capability building, mass gathering health including development on non-linear predictive models and consensus for minimum data sets and review of disaster health terminology. Doctoral student supervision includes projects on family resilience during disaster, the roles and experiences of nurses and paramedics during disaster, protective aspects of emergency services culture and organisation, and bystander motivation and experience. Development work includes risk assessment for mass gatherings, development of mass gathering guidelines for potential Ebola transmission and investigation of models for resilience measurement at national, state and local levels.
Teaching is focussed on disaster and pre hospital care including acute care aspects, pre-hospital and pre-ambulance care, disaster nursing and emergency management. Teaching includes doctoral student supervision, disaster health, disaster and security resilience and mass gathering health shortcourses and topics within the Master of Disaster Health degree program conducted in association with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC).
President: World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine; Fellow, American Academy of Nursing; Fellow: Australian College of Nursing; Member: International Health Regulations Roster of Experts; Editorial Board Member: Pre-Hospital and Disaster Medicine; Member: World Health Organization, Virtual International Advisory Group for Mass Gathering and Pandemic Influenza; Director, City Security and Resilience Networks (Australia).