Dr Charlene Smith is a passionate advocate for the role of education in achieving equity and social inclusion, with a commitment to collaborative, evidence-based approaches to policy development and analysis. In her previous role as General Manager – Projects and Collaboration with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, she led a diverse team to deliver research-informed policy advice to federal and state governments. Her advisory areas included parent engagement in school education, the role of data in design, delivery and evaluation of social services, and the need for effective responses by both the education and health systems to prevent educational disadvantage for students experiencing school absence due to illness or injury. 

Dr Smith has extensive experience in building and sustaining collaborative partnerships, including the right@home consortium between ARACY, the Centre for Community Child Health, and Western Sydney University. She completed a PhD with the Australian National University in 2007, and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of New England.