Operating since 1813, provides integrated support services to children, young people and families, older Australians, people with disability and carers.
In an impressive career spanning over four decades, Smith brings to the role extensive executive human services leadership experience.
Ken is currently a Professor of Practice at Queensland University of Technology and does sessional work with University of Queensland. Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer and Dean of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and Enterprise Professor at The University of Melbourne and has held Adjunct Professorial positions at University of Queensland and Sydney.
In 2021, he was recognised for his distinguished service to public administration and to public leadership and education with an AO (Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
“I wish a warm welcome to Ken on behalf of everyone on the board of The Benevolent Society,” said The Benevolent Society Chair Tim Beresford.
“His extensive senior and diverse public sector leadership experience, as well as his deep expertise in public policy will be a valuable addition to our team.”
Previously, Smith headed the Queensland Public Service as Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet between 2007 and 2011. He has held department CEO positions in Queensland across a range of services, including family services, disability, education, employment and training. Smith also worked in London for six years as the Queensland Agent-General and Investment Commissioner for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Smith has worked on many national policy issues over the past three decades, including housing and urban affairs, social welfare and education. With postgraduate qualifications in social work majoring in social policy, he has worked extensively within the school, vocational and higher education sectors and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and Australian College of Educational Leadership.
“Ken and I crossed paths at ANZSOG, where I saw firsthand his extraordinary commitment to achieving better and more equitable outcomes for individuals in diverse locations and communities,” said The Benevolent Society CEO Lin Hatfield Dodds.
“I am looking forward to him working with us as we continue empowering our clients to live life on their terms with our vast range of services and programs.”
Smith is looking forward to serving on The Benevolent Society board, given the organisation’s legacy.
“The Benevolent Society continues this tradition whilst updating its services to cater to modern life. It’s been able to lead in a range of social policy areas and had great influence in shaping the way we deliver a range of human services across the nation.”
“It’s really focused on individuals and the communities in which they live; it strives to make a difference so people can live greater lives of independence and choose the direction they want their lives to take.”
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.