BORN JUNE 17TH ABOUT 1958 in Melbourne, she is the daughter of rink developer Pat Burley and Nancy (Hallam), who was the first ladies singles figure skating champion with Gweneth Molony to represent Australia at the Winter Olympics in 1952. Her younger sister Belinda owns and operates Lake Moodemere Estate with her husband, the sixth-generation Rutherglen wine producer, Michael Chambers. Her older sister Sharon is a former skating international who finished twentieth in the figure skating event of the 1976 Winter Olympic Games and became a star of international ice shows.
Coached by Nancy and Canadian professional Don Jeandron, she was Junior Ladies Champion in 1971; three-times Australian Ladies Champion, 1976–8; and twice World Championship competitor, placing 17/21 in 1977, and 21/23 in 1978. Although she qualified for the Olympics, a stress fracture in her foot never completely recovered. Her mother, aware it would dampen her chances of amateur success, steered her towards the Professional World Championships in Jaca, Spain.
She was an outsider, but her ability to lift her performance under pressure surprised everybody. She became the first Australian figure skater to hold an accredited individual world title, winning the 1979 World Professional Ladies Championship in Jaca Spain — the gold medalist in free and figure skating in a sport traditionally dominated by Europeans and Americans. “The audience was with me right from the beginning,” she said later. “I've never had a reception like it”.
In 1980, she skated with Sharon on the Mike Walsh Show in performances choreographed by Nancy with well-known singers Colleen Hewitt and Simon Gallagher. In 1981, she and her family were invited to tour and coach in China. The visit culminated with her performance with Sharon in Beijing for twenty thousand very excited Chinese spectators. She coached the Chinese Olympic Figure Skating team and was an ISU Technical Specialist for many years. She was a principal skater with Sharon in Torvill & Dean's Australian Tour after the couple had astonished the world at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. It was arranged and choreographed by Nancy through Michael Edgley.
She coached at her parents' rinks in Melbourne; at Bundall Ice Rink on the Gold Coast where she developed Australian International Robert McNamara; at Fox Studios Ice Rink in Sydney; and at skating camps in other cities. She was inducted to the Australian Figure Skating Hall of Fame with Sharon, Nancy and Pat. Today she is the High Performance director for the Australian figure skating association and coaches at O'Brien Group Arena in Melbourne. She has a degree in Sports Psychology and a Master of Arts and she was recently included among Victoria’s Top-100 sports people.
Ross Carpenter, 'Burely, Robyn (1958 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio-burley-r.html, accessed online .
Icelander: Pat Burley and the temples of hope, Legends of Australian Ice, Ross Carpenter, Online