Ice-skater, YouTuber and academic: Lynn Gribble

19 Feb 2024
Lynn Gribble

The UNSW Business School associate professor says she loves to watch people learn and achieve.

Associate Professor Lynn Gribble in the School of Management and Governance describes herself as a “later to life academic” and a former professional ice -skater who has had 29 million views of her YouTube video on the pitfalls of multitasking.

Her “first career”, as a professional international ice skater, began at the age of 13.

“I was a child who skated and was lucky enough to turn that into a job. I think it's truly amazing to be able to do something that is a childhood love and passion that you then turn into a career that takes you all over the world. And then when you decide that maybe this isn't for you for the rest of your life, you get to start all over again,” Lynn says.

A short time after her first skating lesson, Lynn found one of the few international ice-skating coaches in Australia, who selected her as part of a team to travel to San Francisco.

“I was an Australian kid skating internationally, which was a wonderful experience. I'm incredibly grateful when I think about my parents' sacrifice to do that, and their belief to just say, ‘go and give it a go’,” she says.

Today a cartoon hangs on Lynn’s office wall, a gift from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz who was also a well-known ice-skating enthusiast and who Lynn skated for.

Returning to Australia

Lynn says she is also grateful for her parents’ support when she decided to return to Australia and had the opportunity to set up skate schools.

“They said, you should do it. Live at home. When else are you going to get the chance. I think that that's an extraordinary gift.”

The Aussie Skate program was her first foray into teaching.

“I've always loved to show people how. And there's nothing like teaching somebody to do something physically to really hone your teaching, focus and skills.

“There's great joy in teaching. I have taught little kids, parents and champions, and in the end the joy is the same.

“At my very heart, that's who I am. I love to watch people learn and achieve, and to work out how to teach them to do things.”

Moving into academia

From skating, Lynn moved into the tourism industry. When she was retrenched, she realised it was time to “go back to school” and worked in corporate roles while she studied. She wrote her PhD on the psychological impacts of retrenchment and job loss.

Lynn’s supervisor encouraged her to try academia and after 14 years at UNSW as a sessional academic, she took a full-time role four years ago. She now teaches the Business School’s largest compulsory core course for the Masters of Commerce program called ‘responsible business professionalism’.

What might surprise your colleagues about you?

I can speak some Chinese and cook a Chinese banquet.

What's the best advice you ever received?

You have to be prepared to give something a go.

What makes you happy?

Possibility makes me happy.

What day in your life would you like to relive?

1. The day my daughter was born.

2. The day I received my PhD.

Pictured top: Associate Professor Lynn Gribble with her cat Tiger, the chief happiness and support officer at home.

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