Inspirational leader and mentor Robyn Kemmis mourned

Dr Robyn Kemmis, photo courtesy of City of Sydney

Dr Robyn Kemmis, photo courtesy of City of Sydney

In summary: 
  • UTS remembers and celebrates the life of former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration Dr Robyn Kemmis as a leader and inspirational mentor
  • Robyn embodied the UTS values of social justice, equity and collegiality – the values that make UTS a great place to be

UTS remembers former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration Robyn Kemmis as a leader, mentor and champion of women seeking to forge rewarding and influential careers.

Robyn joined UTS in1991 as Executive Director, University Administration, a new position created when the university became a single entity after several educational bodies were amalgamated the previous year. She was later appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, leaving UTS in 2002 and at the time of her untimely death she served the City as Deputy Lord Mayor.

Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor during her time at UTS, Robyn oversaw the University's finances, human resources, property development, maintenance, supply, operations and student administration. She brought a fresh strategic focus to the University's financial and capital planning and was instrumental in promoting and implementing long-term campus development planning.

In recognition of her contribution to UTS, she was conferred by the university with an honorary doctorate in 2002 and was described by, then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ross Milbourne as a “great builder for UTS” and mentor to women and staff generally growing their professional capabilities.

Current Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said Robyn had also made a tremendous contribution more broadly to the Glebe and Sydney communities and since joining the City of Sydney, had maintained a strong and productive connection with the university.

“Robyn was a founder of the physical connectedness  of UTS with its surrounding community, helping establish the Ultimo precinct, bringing together UTS, the ABC, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney harbour Foreshore Authority and more," Professor Brungs said. "The existing thriving cultural and economic hub here is in no small measure due to Robyn’s vision and leadership.

“It was her contribution to the UTS culture that truly changed UTS for the better; she instilled a focus on professional development for all staff here. Robyn was a renowned mentor and advocate for female colleagues at UTS and beyond, pioneering the development of the Women’s Executive Development Program across the Australian Technology Network of Universities.

“Robyn embodied the UTS values of social justice, equity and collegiality – the values that make UTS such a great place to be – and will be a lasting aspect of Robyn’s legacy at UTS.

“She will be greatly missed by her UTS colleagues past and present and be fondly remembered for her warmth, humour and significant contribution to UTS and Sydney.”