Robyn Cockburn

Teaching Fellow with Museum and Heritage Studies Programme
Stout Research Centre


MA (Applied) in Recreation Administration (Victoria), BPhEd (Otago), GCert ACEM (VU & AIS) Melbourne

Accredited Recreation Professional, New Zealand Recreation Association

Career summary

Robyn has more than 25 years’ experience working as a consultant researcher, strategist, facilitator and educator. She is the Director of Lumin working with a team of people in the arts, education and recreation sectors. She works at national, local and community levels with organisations and individuals, and uses creative, people centred approaches. Robyn is an experienced governor across the arts, recreation and education sectors.

Although Robyn’s career has spanned the breadth of the cultural sector, she is also recognised as conducting some museum visitor research and working to develop new frames of reference for cultural institutions.

Her expertise includes:

  • Analysis of information and development of conclusions
  • Development of strategic frameworks
  • Skilled facilitation of groups, both large and small
  • Innovative and effective approaches to training and development

Current work and professional contributions

  • Director, Lumin Ltd, (2008 - present)
  • Lecturer, Museum and Heritage Studies, Victoria University of Wellington (2016 – present)
  • Trustee, Shift Foundation (2016 – present)
  • Chair, Governance Group, Leadership Framework Project, Sport New Zealand (2016 – present)
  • Board member, Australia New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies (2010 - present)
  • Member, NZRA’s Community Recreation Advisory Group (2008 – present)
  • Member, NZRA’s Accreditation Board (2010 – present)
  • Skills Active Senior Assessor Mentor and Roving Assessor (2008 – present)

Professional awards

  • Fellow, New Zealand Recreation Association [Recognition of significant contributions to the Association]
  • Fellow, Physical Education New Zealand [Recognition of significant contributions to the Association]
  • ‘Outstanding Research, Policy and Planning Award', New Zealand Recreation Association, presented for Searchlight, Community and Market Analysis. 2011
  • Maunsell NZRA Scholarship Award, New Zealand Recreation Association, supporting research on “Enhancing the Work Satisfaction of Recreation Administrators”. 2007
  • Mark Mitchell Award, New Zealand Recreation Association, Recognition of outstanding contribution to the field of recreation. 1996
  • 'Outstanding Recreation Project' Award, Recreation Association of New Zealand [Recognition of applied component of the MA(Applied) in Recreation and Leisure Studies programme and its contribution to the development of people for the profession.] 1990

Previous leadership and management positions

  • Chair, Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (2005 - 2008)
  • Member, Karori Normal School Board of Trustees (2007 – 2010)
  • Director, Algate Enterprises Ltd, (1988 - 2008)
  • Chair, Footnote Dance Company Board of Trustees, (1997 - 2002)
  • Member, Hillary Commission Women's Advisory Group, (1994 - 2000)
  • Board Member, Sport, Fitness and Recreation Industry Training Industry Organisation, (1995 - 1997)
  • Chair, New Zealand Recreation Association Board, (1992 - 1995)
  • Chair, NZ Schools of Dance and Drama Premises Management Trust Board, (1992 - 1995)
  • Chair, NZ School of Dance Trust Board, (1990 - 1996)
  • National President, Physical Education New Zealand, (1986 - 1990)
  • Consulting Trainer, New Zealand School of Training for Trainers,(1988 - 1993)
  • Lecturer, Recreation and Leisure Studies Group, Victoria University of Wellington (1988 - 1990)
  • Acting Director and Physical Recreation Officer, Recreation Service, Victoria University of Wellington (1982 - 89)
  • Manager, Dance=Arts, an Otago University dance group, (1981 - 1982)

Selection of project involvement

  • Directorships and National Board experience
  • Culture change projects
  • Facility needs assessment and feasibility
  • Organisational and project reviews and development
  • Curriculum design for tertiary institutions and on-job training
  • Development of volunteer recruitment, selection and training resources and programmes
  • Training needs analysis and development of competency-based training programmes
  • Mapping of career pathways and design of qualifications
  • Facilitation of leadership workshops
  • Mentoring emerging and established leaders
  • Planning advisor to groups organising special events
  • Experience with a range of people who have special needs (Gender Equity, No Exceptions Disability Strategy)
  • Lecturing at universities and polytechnics
  • Research and development of recreation and physical activity plans
  • Design and implementation of management systems
  • Training workshops
  • Facilitation of organisational planning and development, team building

Recent projects

(2016) Review of ALIVE programme, Activation (Upper Hutt City Council)
(2016) GymSports Strategic Plan (GymSports NZ)
(2016) Organisational culture change project (Kāpiti Coast District Council)
(2016) Women’s Sport Leadership Academy (New Zealand Olympic Committee)
(2016) Redevelopment of Maclean Park, Paraparaumu (Kāpiti Coast District Council)
(2016) Recreation and Sport Provision, Karori, (Wellington City Council)
(2016) Reshaping Communications (Wellington City Council)
(2016) Review of Club Support Services (Victoria University of Wellington)
(2016) Regional Recreation and Sport Strategy, stakeholder engagement (Sport Wellington)
(2016) Indicators of Success, LandSAR
(2015) Developmental review of the Leading People Programme for Victoria University of Wellington
(2015) Aquatic Facility Management Manual, New Zealand Recreation Association
(2015) Leisure Facility Management Manual, SportNZ
(2015) Facility needs assessment for Alex Moore Park, Wellington City Council
(2015) Aspiring Women Olympic Leaders programme, facilitating leadership careers for retired Olympians, New Zealand Olympic Committee
(2015) NZ Recreation Association, Strategic Plan development
(2015) NZ Women in Leadership programme evaluation