Professor Robyn Aitken

Dean, Rural and Remote Health

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Royal Darwin Hospital (N324)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Robyn is a PhD prepared Nurse with a distinguished record of achievement in the health service and University sectors, influencing nursing, midwifery, and health care more broadly across a range of roles and responsibilities nationally and internationally. Her leadership, teaching and research spans acute care, primary health care and public and population health. She has expertise in remote and Indigenous health care delivery, teaching and research; health care in low resource settings; health workforce design and innovation; and health professional regulation. With a long history of interprofessional collaboration for curriculum development, implementation and review, Robyn has led nursing, midwifery and medical workforce development projects in rural and remote Australia, and Indonesia. Her most recent work is underpinned by a commitment to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and her active role in supporting the work of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.


PhD University of Melbourne, 2009
Master of Educational Studies, Monash University, 1998
Bachelor of Educational Studies, Monash University, 1996
Post-basic Certificate in Anaesthesia &
Recovery Room Nursing, 1989
Certificate Registered General Nurse, 1987

Honours, awards and grants
Judith Parker prize for most meritorious PhD in 2009
Key responsibilities

Robyn has a long association with Flinders University, having previously held the Deputy Director position from 2008 – 2012 at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs, a joint centre of Flinders University and Charles Darwin University. During this time she also played a leadership role in working with the Northern Territory and Australian governments to establish the Northern Territory Medical Program.

Robyn has recently taken up a leadership position in Nursing within the Flinders College of Nursing and Health Science after holding senior positions in the Northern Territory Department of Health for the last 7 years. These roles included the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer; Executive Director: Clinical Support, Education and Public Health; and senior policy advisor nursing and midwifery education and research. Most recently Robyn held a joint position with Menzies School of Health Research teaching, researching and supervising research students within the public health education program while also being employed as the Executive Director Clinical Innovation & Research at Top End Health Service where she developed the clinical research agenda, established the research governance office, and led the clinical trials enhancement project for the Northern Territory. Robyn has represented the Northern Territory on Health Principal committees and working groups, played a role in legislative change, and chaired the National Rural Health Alliance education grants committee for a number of years.

Teaching interests

Health Policy, Health workforce, Remote and Indigenous Health, Health Services clinical trials, quality and innovation, Leadership, Cultural diversity in health and Cross-cultural communication, curriculum design and education, Research methods, Postcolonial theory

Topic coordinator
NURS9028 Transition to Nurse Practitioner Role
Expert for media contact
Community/Public health
Diversity and Inclusion
Health management, policy and ethics
Northern Territory
Rural and remote health
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  • Community/Public health
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Health management, policy and ethics
  • Northern Territory
  • Nursing
  • Rural and remote health