Elaine Henry OAM


Elaine Henry OAM
CEW Member

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, The Smith Family

Elaine Henry, OAM, BSc (Hons 1), DLitt (h.c.) has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Smith Family since 1998. Prior to this appointment she was the Executive Director of the Cancer Council of NSW for 12 years. She was a non-executive director of AXA Trustees from 1998-2001.

Elaine Henry returned to Sydney in the early 1980s after 14 years of living and working overseas. She put to good effect her first class honours science degree when she became the Executive Director of the NSW Cancer Council and then CEO of The Smith Family. As a leader in the not-for-profit sector for the last 25 years she has sought to apply our current knowledge into models of best practice in the public health and education sectors to prevent issues from becoming intractable social problems for individuals, their families and communities. Where questions remain unanswered, she has promoted first-class research. Elaine has contributed to public policy formulation through her membership of numerous committees and boards at the state, national and international levels. For example, she was Chair of the Stronger Families and Communities Partnership for the Commonwealth Government for seven years (during which time the innovative program Communities for Children was implemented in disadvantaged communities in Australia), and was a Member of the Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership fostering corporate community investment through the last decade. Among her current appointments are her membership of the board of the Australian Government's Financial Literacy Board under ASIC and the Australian Statistics Advisory Board. Elaine was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia in 1994, in 2006 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of NSW for her eminent service to the community and community health, and in 2009 Elaine was given Research Australia's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 she was named one of the Australian Financial Review's BOSS magazine True Leaders.

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