Edmund Rice Education Australia has appointed Liam Smith as its national executive director, bolstering the organisation’s ability to deliver best practice Catholic education to its more than 40,000 students across the country.
An experienced and passionate leader, Dr Smith has worked in the education sector for more than 30 years. Most recently, he was regional director of two of the largest education regions in Queensland, where he had oversight of more than 265 primary, secondary and special schools catering to more than 176,000 students.
As an EREA-school graduate, previous director of the EREA Colleges Ltd Board and with a doctorate in inclusive classroom practices, Dr Smith understands the values of an EREA education.
Dr Smith said he was looking forward to reconnecting with the organisation that inspired his passion for education: “This role holds both immense opportunity and privilege. It is with great pleasure that I re-join the very organisation which so many years ago, inspired within me a life-long commitment to education,” he said.
“I know that I am stepping into a strong education system with a rich history of care and commitment to ensuring positive educational outcomes for children and young people across Australia. I am also aware of the possibilities that lie ahead – opportunities that, through collective effort and a genuine commitment to the success of all members of the Edmund Rice family, we can achieve.”
In his role as national executive director, Dr Smith will be tasked with building EREA’s national identity, providing collaborative and strategic guidance to EREA subsidiaries and schools, leading EREA’s strong commitment to reconciliation with First Nations peoples, and building productive relationships with diocesan Catholic education offices, representatives, regulators, unions and other stakeholders critical to realising EREA’s vision.
Chair of the Trustees of EREA, Philomena Billington, said Dr Smith would bring fresh thinking to this role as EREA continues to bolster its shared narrative as a community of schools.
“Throughout his career, Liam has demonstrated a passion for education and an unwavering commitment to supporting students throughout their learning journey,” she said.