Robert Papworth: The People Person
At the heart of any lab, or indeed of any research institute, is the people. Research runs on the talents and minds and hands of people, and the intermingling and intellectual friction and exchange of ideas that occur between these people. No-one understands this more than ARMI’s newest Development Engagement Committee member, Robert Papworth.
Robert is a specialist in leadership and management of talent acquisition and talent management and has worked across several sectors in all corners of the globe. His varied experience spans government, telecommunications, information technology and retail, and his career has taken him to places like Brazil, South Africa, Laos and New Zealand.
“I’ve continually strived to make companies successful by engaging good people, and through that, making people successful. When you get that right, you get ‘symbiotic momentum’,” explained Robert. Here, Robert combines his passion for internal talent pathways, graduate programs, local community employment pathways, international mobility, diversity and inclusion to build relationships and trust and generate positive outcomes and feedback loops.
Funnily, Robert had never envisioned himself working in human resources (HR). “I was never really a good university student. I spent more years infirst year than most trying to work out what I wanted to do.” Jumping from a Bachelor of Pharmacy to a Bachelor of Economics and Arts during his early university years, Robert felt he gained more from working in hospitality, learning a lot about customer service, teamwork, and grit. Eventually, he had a breakthrough and won a job working to facilitate recruitment with Computer Sciences Corporation in Canberra. Robert said, “It was a perfect start to the ‘talent’ side of human resources, a career I never knew existed but one that became my passion. Even now, 24 years later, I still smile at what I do.”
In a previous role, Robert had built a relationship with Monash University, and he was keen to support the university again. While he is still learning about regenerative medicine and ARMI’s research, Robert believes in contributing to something that “gives to the world,” as opposed to taking from the world. He knows what is needed for a viable and sustainable partnership between tertiary institutions and industry with his previous experience.
“As ARMI continues its momentum in forging new relationships, I intend to bring that perspective to the Development Committee. That way, our relationships and partnerships will be mutually beneficial, viable and sustainable. Also, by the nature of my career and experiences, I tend to be more of a pragmatist than an idealist. This will help with the ‘diversity of thought’ within the ARMI Development Engagement Committee in relation to our challenges and the tactics to move forward.”
Welcome Robert to the ARMI DEC!