Dr Alison Robb

Dr Alison Robb
  • Biography/ Background

    Alison's pronouns are she/her and she lives and works on Kaurna Land. She is an LGBTQI+ community member/ally and an intersectional feminist committed to dismantling diet culture.

    Alison is an Associate Lecturer with the School of Psychology, currently teaching into the undergraduate program. She also works as a research assistant, most recently in the area of refugee and asylum-seeker mental health.

    Alison is a freelance wellbeing consultant, working mainly in the arts industry, having trained as a theatre director at the Flinders University Drama centre. Alison worked in the performing arts industry for about 10 years as a director, assistant director, stage manager and theatre technician. Alison's consulting work includes teaching in a range of contexts, as well as preparing/delivering resources, seminars and workshops. 

    Alison is a visual artist, currently working with textiles and oil paint. She also studies at Adelaide Central School of Art.

    The rest of the time she can be found lying on the floor with her rescued greyhound.

    PROFILE PHOTO by Olivia Power, Marketing and Engagement Manager for Helpmann Academy


  • Qualifications

    Combined PhD/Master of Clinical Psychology (2017), The University of Adelaide

    Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) in Psychology (2012), The University of Adelaide

    Graduate Diploma in Psychological Sciences (2011), The University of Adelaide

    Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Drama (1999), Flinders University

  • Awards & Achievements

    Article on psychological wellbeing in acting training one of 10 selected for highlight in the Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training's 10 -year anniversary celebration (2020).

    Australian Postgraduate Award (2013-2016)

    Early Career Research Award (2012) Australian Society of Performing Arts Healthcare


  • Teaching Interests

    Undergraduate Psychology - Alison enjoys lecturing in undergraduate psychology

    Arts Mental Health - Alison has presented keynote addresses, professional development seminars, structured discussions and skills-training workshops in the area of performing arts mental health. She has a strong interest in acknowledging and addressing the specific challenges and joys of crafting a life in the arts.

    Mindfulness Meditation and Guided Visualisation - Alison is an experienced meditator who has taught meditation, mindfulness and visualisation in various contexts, including to community groups, clinicians, psychology students and students at the Flinders University Drama Centre

    Mental health for health professionals - Alison has a longstanding interest in breaking down the stigma of seeking help in the health professions, both for students and practitioners. Alison is committed to modelling and teaching boundaries and compassionate self-care.

    Building Resilience - Alison enjoys developing context-specific resilience tool-kits and running skills training seminars to broaden and build resilience.



  • Publications

    Due, C., Ziersch, A. M., Robb, A. & Green, E. (2018) Psychological trauma and access to primary health services for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. The European Journal of Public Health, 28 (suppl 1). doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cky048.089

    Robb, A. E. & Due, C. (2017) Exploring psychological wellbeing in acting training: an Australian interview study. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. doi:10.1080/19443927.2017.1324518

    Robb, A. E., Due, C. & Venning, A. (2016). Exploring psychological wellbeing in a sample of Australian actors. Australian Psychologist. doi:10.1111/ap.12221

    Robb, A. E., & Davies, M. (2015) 'Being inside the story': a phenomenology of onstage experience and the implications of flow. About Performance, 13: 45-67.

    Robb, A. E., & Due, C. Actors define psychological wellbeing: through the lens of social identity. In preparation.

    Robb, A. E., & Due, C. Supporting psychological wellbeing in student and professional actors: an applied ecological scoping study. In preparation.


  • Professional Associations

    Member - Psychology and Health Forum www.phf.net.au  

    Clearances: National Police Certificate, Working with Childen, the Aged and Vulnerable People

  • Professional Interests

    Alison has worked in private practice seeing adult clients for one-on-one therapy. She consults to arts organisations and develops/presents workshops, as well as maintaining her own artistic practice. Alison has undertaken research for the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity (Flinders University) in the area of refugee and asylum seeker mental health.


    • performing arts wellbeing
    • LGBTIQ+ wellbeing
    • wellbeing of health professionals and students in training
    • mindfulness, meditation and visualisation
    • qualitative research
    • teaching

     Arts Consulting, Presentations and Workshops:

    "Cultivating Resilience" (2018), seminar for Helpmann Academy and fact sheet development

    "Mindfulness in Motion" (2018), 2x 90 minute mindfulness workshops for Adelaide Dance Festival.

    "Building Personal Resilience" (2018), half-day workshop for Melbourne Theatre Company's Women in Theatre program.

    "Cultivating Coping" (2018), presentation and round-table for Country Arts SA.

    "Tour Management Kit" (2018), reseach and write content for the Arts Wellbeing Collective, Arts Centre Melbourne.

    "Resilience in the Arts" (2017), keynote presentation, Northern Australia Regional Performing Arts Centres Association, Logan QLD.

    "Mental health in the arts workplace" (2016), break out session for Australian Performing Arts Companies Association conference, Melbourne. 

    "Here I stand: cultivating resilience in the face of chaos" (2016), keynote and workshop for Victorian Theatre Forum https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLSTWTJWWiUNkVP0nVs2x3Rv75rpIlRj5&v=YpVyOzrE_Oc 

    "Making it healthy: keeping theatre makers safe" (2015), curate and chair panel for Australian Theatre Forum, Sydney Festival.

    "The Singer and the Psychologist" (2015), presentation for Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, Adelaide.

    "Wellbeing: how are you going and what do you need?" (2014) Arts Industry Council of South Australia, Adelaide.

    Recent Arts Work/Practice:

    Adelaide Central School of Art (student of drawing)

    Ongoing: portrait painting and textiles

    Moonlight Cinema 2018/19 season - cinema worker

    Stage management team, "Intimate Space" (2017), Restless Dance Theatre, Adelaide Festival of Arts.

    Poetry booklet. 'in betweens' - 9 poems for when you're tired of looking at your phone but can't quite face other people yet (2016). Distributed on campus.

    Group exhibition. "Eclectic" - student artwork in Hub Central during the South Australian Living Artists Festival (2016). 2 paintings exhibited.

  • Community Engagement

    Alison volunteers her time and skills in the arts community and the psychology community. Some recent examples other than conference appearances include:


    "Combatting Post-Fringe Blues" (2018) workshop for Adelaide Fringe

    "Mental Health: Let's Talk About It" (2017) workshop for Adelaide Fringe

    UnFunk Your Mind, Adelaide (2015). A group of local creative practitioners gathering to share stories and information about mental health. Alison was invited as a mental health speaker for sessions on anxiety and depression.


    Adminstrator of Psychology and Health Forum (2016-18), a peer network for mental health professionals, researchers and students providing low-cost CPD, resources and social connection (www.phf.net.au)

    UniSA (2018) - filming of example therapy videos for clinicians-in-training.

    Visualising Mental Health, UniSA (2016). Consultation with final year design students, with the aim of creating new educational and clinical tools on the topic of "What's the deal with feelings? What are normal emotions and how can I deal with them?" Final products exhibited at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, October 12th-November 4th. http://www.unisa.edu.au/Business-community/Hawke-Centre/Kerry-Packer-Civic-Gallery/2016-exhibitions/Art-Bus/

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Entry last updated: Monday, 24 Feb 2020