Tanya Smith

Tanya Smith


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Tanya is a leading public policy expert who is regarded for her well-considered advice, which is grounded in deep appreciation of government decision-making contexts and processes. She brings extensive experience at senior levels in federal and state governments. A former diplomat, she works across both social and economic policy while also advising government clients on major organisational, cultural and governance challenges. Tanya is the leader of Nous’ Melbourne office and work in central and economic agencies.

Influential work

  • Was lead author of Nous’ report for the Gonski Review of School Funding, which heavily influenced the Review’s recommendations and continues to be an important reference on school education reform
  • Analysed government responses to large firm and produced recommendation that informed subsequent government policy on responses to structural adjustment events
  • Worked alongside independent lead reviewers to conduct functional and efficiency reviews of four Australian Government departments, each of which produced savings and provided a strategic view on how to realign organisational functions to government priorities
  • Conducted a regulatory impact assessment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s quality and safeguarding framework that involved detailed cost-benefit analysis of each of over 20 regulatory options and became the basis of advice to Cabinet and to the Coalition of Australian Governments.

Outside of Nous

Before joining Nous in 2010 Tanya was deputy chief executive in South Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet. She started her career was in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, during which time she had postings in London and Washington, DC, advocating Australia’s interests in security and trade policy and advising on political developments. Tanya is particularly proud of her role in securing passage of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and the E-3 visa.

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from The Australian National University and is a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria). She is a former member of the South Australian Social Inclusion Board and former director on the board of the Australian America Association.

In her spare time...

Tanya enjoys learning French, watching her son achieve his dream of being a world-class ballet dancer and engaging in conversations with spouse Tim Dunlop about the future of work.