Liam Smith

Liam Smith

Liam Smith

  • Type: Executive
  • Position: Director – BehaviourWorks Australia
  • Team: Behaviourworks
  • Email:
  • Phone: 03 9904 7107

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

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. Professor Thwaites’ 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

Since then, Liam has been directly or indirectly involved in over 400 behaviour change research projects across a wide range of industries and sectors. He has led the development of a unique research methodology (The BehaviourWorks Method), which is used to inform, develop and design behaviour change interventions and improve their efficacy.

Liam is an active contributor on Zoos Victoria’s Science Committee, South East Water’s Customer Engagement Council and VicHealth’s Leading Thinker Taskforce. He is also on the Editorial Board of the prestigious Public Administration Review. And he is on 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.

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

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 as 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.


zoos, persuasion for behaviour change, pro-environmental behaviour.

Research Interests

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


PhD (Monash University)
MPhil (Monash University)
Tourism (James Cook University)
BSc in Resource and Environmental Management (Australian National University)

Recent Publications

Buckley, K.A., Smith, L.D.G., Crook, D.A., Pillans, R.D. & Kyne, P.M., 2020, Conversation impact scores identify shortfalls in demonstrating the benefits of threatened wildlife displays in zoos and aquaria, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28, 7, p. 978-1002 25 p.

Borg, K., Jungbluth, L. & Smith, L., 2020, (Accepted/ In Press), Pat, play and pay: trialing a pay-what-you-want model for an up-close animal encounter, Journal of Applied Social Science. 16 p.

Kaufman, S., Saeri, A., Raven, R., Smith, L. & Malekpour, S., 22 Jun 2019, Behaviour in transitions, International Sustainability Transitions Conference 2019, Carleton University, Ottawa
Borg, K., Boulet, M., Smith, L. & Bragge, P., 10 May 2019, Digital inclusion and health communication: a rapid review of literature, Health Communication, 34, 11, p. 1320-1328 9p.

Lauren, N., Smith, L.D.G., Louis, W.R. & Dean, A.J., 2019, Promoting spillover: how past behaviours increase environmental intentions by cueing self-perceptions, Environment and Behaviour, 51, 3, p. 235-258 24p.

Liam's other research papers and reports can be found here.

Current Supervisions

Kate Buckley (commenced 2012 P/T) - Public aquariums and the conservation of the Freshwater Sawfish Pristis microdon; impacts and benefits of keeping a threatened species. Enrolled at Charles Darwin University. THESIS CURRENTLY UNDER EXAMINATION

Conor Wynn (part time commenced 2014 P/T) - The influence of power on project portfolio management through context-based cues. Enrolled at Monash University
Melissa Hatty (commenced 2018 F/T) – The role of behaviour in achieving biodiversity conservation.  Enrolled at Monash University

Rebecca Stewart (commenced 2018 F/T) – Breaking down gender stereotypes with behaviour change. Enrolled at Monash University

Jenni Downes (commenced 2020 P/T) - In search of a complete framework to make sense of recycling behaviour. Enrolled at Monash University

Associate Professor Liam Smith

Director - BehaviourWorks Australia  
P: +61 3 9904 7107

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