Tanya Smith


NousGroup Background Pattern
Tanya is a public administration and policy expert who brings extensive experience at senior levels in federal and state governments.
With Nous since 2010, she has a particular interest in government funding of complex service delivery systems, as well as organisational and program effectiveness. A former diplomat and senior executive in state government, Tanya works across all policy areas and has advised government clients on major organisational, cultural and governance challenges. Tanya is a senior figure in Nous’ education sector, public policy practice and work with central government agencies.

Influential work

  • Conducted a national review into preschool that informed a subsequent agreement among Australian education ministers
  • Worked with an independent panel to comprehensively review the Australian Public Service’s classification and hierarchy and recommend significant changes
  • Conducted portfolio reviews, overseen by Independent Lead Reviewers, of four Australian Government departments to realign functional alignment and explore options for improved efficiency and effectiveness
  • Led national consultations and advice on the introduction of a new employment services system to inform its design and implementation
  • Examined the dynamics of school selection and student choice in Australia’s education market, and their impact on schooling equity and outcomes.

Outside of Nous

Before joining Nous Tanya was deputy chief executive in South Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet. She began her career in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and enjoyed postings in London and Washington. Tanya is particularly proud of her role in the passage of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and the E-3 visa. Tanya remains fascinated by what we can learn from other federal systems in areas of domestic policy development and public administration.

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 serves on the Advisory Board of Learning Creates Australia.

In her spare time...

Tanya enjoys all things to do with France, federalism, flower-arranging and f(ph)otos. She is the proud parent of an adult ballet-dancing son and a member of Diplomats for Climate Action Now.