Robyn Norton

Professor Robyn Norton named amongst Australia’s top Women of Influence

SYDNEY, 11 SEPT - The George Institute for Global Health’s Co-Founder and Principal Director Professor Robyn Norton AO has been nominated as one of The Australian Financial Review’s 2019 top 100 Women of Influence, recognising her leadership and trailblazing efforts in global health and gender equity.

The AFR Women of Influence Awards celebrate women leaders who have pushed back against unfairness, and used their time and energy to help other women succeed and achieve their potential. Robyn has been nominated in the Global category, which recognises individuals whose work is making a mark on the global stage.

Robyn co-founded The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney with Professor Stephen MacMahon in 1999 in order to combat the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases, including, but not limited to stroke, heart disease and injury. Since then, the Institute has expanded from a handful of people in Sydney to over 700 people across four major centres in Australia, China, India and the UK, and has a focus on vulnerable populations in both rich and poor countries - a testament to Robyn’s own commitment to equity and social justice. She has also had a long-standing commitment to improving women’s health, and currently leads The George Institute’s Global Women’s Health Program.

Vice Principal Director and Chief Scientist at The George Institute Professor Anushka Patel commented:

“Robyn’s leadership over the past 20 years in the fight against chronic diseases and injury has been game-changing. Her drive to improve the health of millions of people has positioned The George Institute as a leading global voice and expert on the biggest killers and causes of disability, as well as on gender equity. Her influence on so many lives – whether be it those who benefit from her research, advocacy or mentorship – is remarkable, and The AFR’s recognition is a testament to that.”

$1billon has been raised for health and medical research by the Institute to date, and last year it was recognised as the top independent research organisation in Australia by The Times Higher Education. Over the past two decades, it has notched up over 7,500 academic publications and now has research projects in more than 50 countries.

In 2016, Robyn launched the Institute’s Global Women’s Health Program with a progressive research agenda recognising that improving the lifelong health of women requires an extended focus beyond maternal and reproductive health to the heavy burden of chronic diseases. Robyn and her colleagues are challenging common misperceptions around how women and men experience disease; working to integrate chronic disease prevention strategies into ante- and postnatal care; championing the rights of women as healthcare workers; and highlighting gender inequities in access to services.

Over two-thirds of the Institute’s workforce are women, including a growing number in senior leadership roles. Countless women have risen through the ranks under Robyn’s leadership, many of whom have gone on to take up prestigious positions in their own right, having a considerable combined impact on a number of traditionally male-dominated fields of health and medical research. The Institute has also recently reached 54 percent female representation on its Board; over twice that of the Australian corporate average.

In addition to her leadership of The George Institute, Robyn is Professor of Global Health and Oxford Martin Senior Fellow, University of Oxford; Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney, and Honorary Professor at Peking University.


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