Vale Robyn Heales, GUPSA editor 05-06

We are saddened to hear of the death earlier this week of Dr Robyn Heales. Her funeral is being held today, Friday 13 June. She was 69. Robyn was Editor in Residence (EiR) for GUPSA in 2005-06, before the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) in 2006. She was the last of the old EiRs. Robyn was appointed to the position in mid-2005, replacing Margaret McDonell, who left to travel in India. In those days, Margaret was one of several experts in residence, including the Methodologist (then as now Bill Metcalf) and Statistician, employed by GUPSA.

When the new VSU regime was introduced in mid-2006, GUPSA lost the funding to employ its experts in residence. However, the Griffith Graduate Research School took over their employment when GUPSA had to let them go when funding dried up. Robyn continued as Editor in Residence with GGRS for another 2-3 years providing editing services for HDR students only, including thesis editing. According to Bill Metcalf, in her time as EiR, Robyn would have read several hundred doctoral theses. However, further funding constraints meant that GGRS could no longer maintain the Editor in Residence service and Robyn left Griffith University around four years ago.

VSU marked a serious rupture of continuity for GUPSA, bringing the organisation close to collapse 3-4 years ago. That rupture meant that collective memories were not handed down. Consequently, with the rebuilding following the introduction of the SSAF in 2012, there has also been a gradual rebuilding of organisational memory. That organisational memory is still full of gaps and it is sad that we have only learnt about Robyn’s contribution to GUPSA and the postgraduate community through her untimely death. We extend our condolences to Robyn’s family and to all who knew and worked with her here at Griffith University.

GUPSA Committee