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Liam Smith

BehaviourWorks Australia  
T: +61 3 9904 7107


Liam is Director and co-founder of MSDI's BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) and one of Australia’s leading authorities on behaviour change.

Formerly Director of Monash University’s Tourism Research Unit, Liam holds a Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management) from the Australian National University, a Master of Ecotourism from James Cook University, a Master of Philosophy and PhD from Monash University.

In 2011, Liam was invited to establish and lead a new ‘Behaviour Change Initiative’ (now BehaviourWorks Australia) by the chair of the Monash Sustainability Institute (now Monash Sustainable Development Institute), Professor John Thwaites, whose previous role as Deputy Premier of Victoria led him to the conclusion that not enough policy decisions are based on an understanding of human behaviour and how to influence it. With a brief to bring behavioural experts together with government and industry to find solutions to real-world sustainability problems, Liam’s research initially focused on the areas of water, energy, waste, litter, pollution, climate change adaptation and wildlife conservation.

Since then, Liam has been directly or indirectly involved in conducting over 300 behaviour change research projects across a wide range of industries and sectors. He has also led the development of a unique research methodology (The Method), which is used to inform, develop and design behaviour change interventions and improve their efficacy.

Liam is on the executive of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and is involved in developing a 2025 strategy, which uses the SDGs as a framework for tackling common and complex sustainability challenges.

Liam’s specific research interests include waste resource management, biodiversity, spillover (how engaging in one positive behaviour affects the probability of engagement or disengagement in a second behaviour), the synthesis of research evidence to inform behaviour change strategies and social inclusion.

He has published numerous research reports, research papers and public discussion pieces and is an active contributor on Zoos Victoria’s Science Committee, South East Water’s Customer Engagement Council and VicHealth’s Leading Thinker Taskforce. Liam is on Editorial Board of the prestigious Public Administration Review and the Board of Inclusive Australia, a new organisation made up of some of Australia’s largest government and industry groups working collaboratively to identify strategies on how to unite the nation around the principles of diversity and respect.

An exceptional public speaker, Liam believes that education and training is vital to wider uptake and application of behavioural insights and he regularly delivers executive training to government professionals through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)’s Behavioural Insights Unit.

He is also regularly invited to deliver public presentations to audiences around Australia and the world and at specialist conferences run by organisations such at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the International Association for Public Participation and Social Science in Conservation Forum.

Contact us if you would like Liam to talk at your event.

Related Links:


zoos, persuasion for behaviour change, pro-environmental behaviour


Institution: Monash University
Year awarded: 2009
Institution: Monash University
Year awarded: 2005
Institution: James Cook University / Townsville
Year awarded: 2001
Institution: Australian National University
Year awarded: 1994



Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., Kneebone, S.C., 2015, How Influencing Behaviours Can Accelerate the Transition to a Water Sensitive City, Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, Clayton Vic Australia.

Book Chapters

Smith, L., Weiler, B., Ham, S., 2011, The rhetoric versus the reality: A critical examination of the zoo proposition, in Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment?, eds Warwick Frost, Channel View Publications, Bristol UK, pp. 59-68.

Journal Articles

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., 2014, The relationship between environmental worldviews, emotions and personal efficacy in climate change, International Journal of Arts & Sciences [P], vol 7, issue 1, International Journal of Arts & Sciences, Cumberland RI USA, pp. 93-109.

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., Kneebone, S.C., 2014, Visitor satisfaction and place attachment in national parks, Tourism Analysis [P], vol 19, issue 3, Cognizant Communication Corp, Putnam Valley NY USA, pp. 287-300.

Ramkissoon, H., Weiler, B.V., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Place attachment, place satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviour: a comparative assessment of multiple regression and structural equation modelling, Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events [P], vol 5, issue 3, Routledge, Abingdon Oxon United Kingdom, pp. 215-232.

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., Weiler, B.V., 2013, Relationships between place attachment, place satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviour in an Australian national park, Journal of Sustainable Tourism [P], vol 21, issue 3, Routledge, Abingdon UK, pp. 434-457.

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., Weiler, B.V., 2013, Testing the dimensionality of place attachment and its relationships with place satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviours: A structural equation modelling approach, Tourism Management [P], vol 36, Pergamon, Oxford UK, pp. 552-566.

Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Visitors or visits? An examination of zoo visitor numbers using the case study of Australia, Zoo Biology [P], vol 32, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken NJ USA, pp. 37-44.

Smith, L.D.G., Weiler, B.V., Smith, A.M., Van Dijk, P.A., 2012, Applying visitor preference criteria to choose pro-wildlife behaviors to ask of zoo visitors, Curator: The Museum Journal [P], vol 55, issue 4, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken NJ USA, pp. 453-466.

Ramkissoon, H., Weiler, B., Smith, L.D.G., 2012, Place attachment and pro-environmental behaviour in national parks: The development of a conceptual framework, Journal of Sustainable Tourism [P], vol 20, issue 2, Routledge, Abingdon UK, pp. 257-276.

Smith, L.D.G., Curtis, J.M., Mair, J.F., Van Dijk, P.A., 2012, Requests for zoo visitors to undertake pro-wildlife behaviour: how many is too many?, Tourism Management [P], vol 33, Elsevier, Amsterdam Netherlands, pp. 1502-1510.

Van Dijk, P.A., Smith, L.D.G., Weiler, B.V., 2012, To re-enact or not to re-enact? Investigating the impacts of first- and third-person interpretation at a heritage tourism site, Visitor Studies [P], vol 15, issue 1, Routledge, Philadelphia PA USA, pp. 48-61.

Van Dijk, P., Smith, L., Cooper, B., 2011, Are you for real? An evaluation of the relationship between emotional labour and visitor outcomes, Tourism Management [P], vol 32, issue 1, Pergamon, United Kingdom, pp. 39-45.

Smith, L., Ham, S., Weiler, B., 2011, The impacts of profound wildlife experiences, Anthrozoos [P], vol 24, issue 1, Berg Publishers, Oxford UK, pp. 51-64.

Smith, L., Warwick, A., Ballantyne, R., Packer, J., 2011, Using websites to influence visitor behavior, Journal of the International Zoo Educators' Association [P], vol 47, International Zoo Educators Association, Liebefeld Switzerland, pp. 38-41.

Smith, L., Curtis, J., Van Dijk, P., 2010, What the zoo should ask: The visitor perspective on pro-wildlife behavior attributes, Curator: The Museum Journal [P], vol 53, issue 3, Wiley-Blackwell, USA, pp. 339-357.

Smith, L., Van Dijk, P., Curtis, J., 2010, When does the zoo start to nag? Testing the limits for pro-wildlife behaviour requests, Journal of the International Zoo Educators' Association [P], vol 46, International Zoo Educators Association, Switzerland, pp. 47-50.

Weiler, B.V., Smith, L.D.G., 2009, Does more interpretation lead to greater outcomes? An assessment of the impacts of multiple layers of interpretation in a zoo context, Journal of Sustainable Tourism [P], vol 17, issue 1, Routledge, United Kingdom, pp. 91-105.

Smith, L.D.G., 2009, Identifying behaviors to target during zoo visits, Curator: The Museum Journal [P], vol 52, issue 1, Wiley-Blackwell, USA, pp. 101-115.

Smith, L.D.G., Broad, S., Weiler, B.V., 2008, A closer examination of the impact of zoo visits on visitor behaviour, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol 16, issue 5, Routledge, UK, pp. 544-562.

Smith, L.D.G., Broad, S., 2008, Comparing zoos and the media as conservation educators, Visitor Studies, vol 11, issue 1, Routledge, UK, pp. 16-25.

Smith, L.D.G., Broad, S., 2008, Do zoo visitors attend to conservation messages? A case study of an elephant exhibit, Tourism Review International, vol 11, issue 3, Cognizant Communication Corp, USA, pp. 225-235.

Smith, L.D.G., Weiler, B.V., Ham, S.H., 2008, Measuring emotion at the zoo, Journal of the International Zoo Educators' Association, vol 44, issue 2008, International Zoo Educators Association, Switzerland, pp. 26-31.

Smith, L.D.G., 2007, A qualitative analysis of profound wildlife encounters, Journal of Dissertations, vol 1, issue 1, Scientific Journals International, USA, pp. i-172.

Conference Proceedings

Broad, S., Smith, L.D.G., 2004, Who educates the public about conservation issues? Examining the role of zoos and the media, International Toursim and Media Conference Proceedings, 24 November 2004 to 26 November 2004, Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, Melbourne Vic Australia, pp. 15-23.


Morgan, D.J., Matthews, B.L., Smith, L.D.G., Andronaco, R., 2014, Assessment of visual attention to water quality safety signs using laboratory-based eye tracking equipment, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-21.

Morgan, D.J., Smith, L.D.G., Matthews, B.L., 2014, Beach report signage testing, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-19.

Brent, D.A., Leibbrandt, A., Smith, L.D.G., 2014, Economic incentives for managing peak electricity demand: review, options and context analysis, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-38.

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., 2014, Evaluating the effectiveness of wipe for wildlife and its campaign elements, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-34.

Merton, E., Mair, J.F., Smith, L.D.G., 2014, Examining and improving cogeneration of knowledge between research and policy: in depth analysis of two VCCCAR projects., Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-16.

Gregory, J., Mair, J.F., Merton, E., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, A literature and practice review for the Research-Policy Project: knowledge co-production milestones 1 & 2, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-27.

Gregory, J., Mair, J.F., Merton, E., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, A literature and practice review for the research-policy project, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-27.

Kneebone, S.C., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Accelerating transitions to water sensitive cities by influencing behaviour, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-37.

Ramkissoon, H., Smith, L.D.G., Curtis, J.M., 2013, Evaluation of home composting and food waste avoidance trial, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-28.

Mair, J.F., Merton, E., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Examining and improving cogeneration of knowledge between research and policy, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-15.

Smith, L.D.G., Judd, S.M., 2013, Examining employee beliefs about upselling memberships at Zoos Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-24.

Curtis, J.M., Smith, L.D.G., Jungbluth, L., 2013, Identifying beliefs underlying home composting behaviours in the City of Whitehorse, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-35.

Curtis, J.M., Smith, L.D.G., Curtis-Wendlandt, L.H., Ramkissoon, H., 2013, Improving compliance outcomes: An examination of the experiences and practices of EPA Victoria's environment protection officers, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-50.

Brace-Govan, J.V.F., Oppewal, H., Binay, I., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Mapping decision making processes by new home buyers, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-41.

Newton, J., Smith, L.D.G., 2013, Preventing illegal dumping on charitable recyclers, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-57.

Taylor, T.Z., Smith, L.D.G., Curtis, J.M., 2012, Current behaviour change research in relation to litter prevention, Australia, Melbourne, pp. 1-51.

Smith, L.D.G., Curtis, J.M., Gangadharan, L., Raschky, P., Symmons, M.A., Newton, F.J., Verplanken, B., 2011, Review of Ergon Energy's demand management programs, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-119.

Smith, L.D.G., Curtis, J.M., Van Dijk, P.A., 2009, Asking visitors to become active in conservation. How many requests are too many?, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-33.

Postgraduate Research Supervisions

Current Supervision

Program of Study:
Thesis Title:
Behaviour change and project portfolio management.
Smith, L (Main), Ambrosini, V (Associate).
Program of Study:
Thesis Title:
Building broad-based public demand for the reversal of rising income inequality in Australia.
Smith, L (Main), Gangadharan, L (Associate), Grossman, P (Associate).
Program of Study:
Thesis Title:
Catalysing water saving behaviours in urban Australian households.
Smith, L (Main), Ramkissoon, H (Associate).
Program of Study:
Thesis Title:
UsingBehaviour Change Research and Practice to Influence Community Acceptance of TOD.
Curtis, J (Main), Smith, L (Associate).

Completed Supervision

Carrillo Higueras, F.
Program of Study:
The antecedents and the impact of environmental commitment in Australian wine industry. (PHD) 2014.
Prajogo, D (Main), Smith, L (Associate), Mcloughlin, I (Associate).
Ramkissoon, H.
Program of Study:
Place attachment, place satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviour: a case study of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. (PHD) 2012.
Smith, L (Joint-Co), Weiler, B (Joint).