Director of Linguistics & Literacy Programs
Robbie works with his wife, Debbie, in Papua New Guinea training literacy teachers in remote villages, and helping them develop school reading materials in various tribal languages spoken there. He has developed orthographies and published school books for ten different minority languages of the Gulf Province. He also mentors local translators in their translation projects.
From 1977 to 1983 Robbie worked as a computer programmer in New Zealand, developing operating system software. In 1984 he changed careers taking his young family off to live in a tribal village in the middle of the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. There they learnt the local language, reduced it to writing, and worked on a translation and literacy program for the people of the tribe. When that program finished in 1993, Robbie took his family back to New Zealand and lectured in Information Technology and Linguistics at the International Pacific College. From 2004 he returned to Papua New Guinea to work again on literacy projects funded by NZAID and AusAID. He and Debbie are currently working as volunteers, pioneering the use of Uniskript for literacy in PNG.
Robbie is a graduate of Massey University in New Zealand with an honors degree in Computer Science, and a Masters in Linguistics. He also has qualifications in teaching English as a foreign language.