As scientific knowledge evolves, the SMART Recovery program adapts. To keep up to date with the latest thinking, opinions and research, SMART Recovery Australia established a Research Advisory Committee in 2014. The committee includes leading researchers in the addiction field.
Professor Amanda Baker is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, University of Newcastle, and Co-Director of the CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use. She is a senior clinical psychologist who has practised in the United Kingdom and Australia. Her expertise lie in the development of evidence-based treatment for substance use and mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Prof Baker has published extensively in peer reviewed journals, and published numerous treatment manuals and clinician guidelines based on her innovative clinical interventions. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, and is currently the President of the Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD), the peak body for professional working in the AOD field.
Frank Deane is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health at the University of Wollongong. He trained as a clinical psychologist at Massey University in New Zealand, practiced in the USA for 6 years before returning to NZ. He was a Senior Lecturer at Massey University until moving to the University of Wollongong in 1998 to take up the Director of Clinical Psychology programs position. His research is predominantly applied and clinical in nature and he has particular interests in the role of therapeutic homework in treatment, help seeking for mental health problems and service effectiveness research.
Professor Anthony Shakeshaft’s principal research interests are in embedding the evaluation of interventions into the delivery of routine clinical health services and into the implementation of population-level interventions, with a particular interest in community-based approaches and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. His intervention trials have been conducted in partnership with a range of service providers, communities and academics to: examine the cost-effectiveness of alcohol brief interventions delivered in community-based counselling settings; the use of patient driven computers for screening and intervention in primary care (UK, Canada and Australia); improving the appropriateness of red blood cell transfusions in metropolitan hospitals; a national evaluation of pharmacotherapies for opioid dependence provided in drug and alcohol clinics; and increasing the provision of screening and brief intervention through Aboriginal Medical Services. He has also implemented a number of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate: the cost-effectiveness of mailed personalised feedback to patients delivered through hospital emergency departments; the cost-effectiveness of mailed tailored feedback to GPs on their prescribing practices; and the cost-effectiveness of targeting high-risk weekends with community-based strategies aimed at reducing alcohol harms. Most recently he led the largest community-wide cluster RCT ever undertaken internationally aimed at reducing population level rates of risky drinking and alcohol-related harms – the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project.
Professor Leanne Hides is a clinical psychologist with clinical and research expertise in the assessment and treatment of primary and co-occurring substance use disorders in young people. She also has worked extensively in youth mental health. She is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship holder at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Leanne is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR), the only youth-focused research centre of its kind in Australia. Leanne has developed brief and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions for substance use and comorbid mental health issues in young people and has led over ten clinical trials on these interventions. Leanne also develops web and mobile app based interventions and is the QUT project leader of a major project in the Young and Well Collaborative Research Centre developing Etools for enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
Associate Professor Peter Kelly is a Senior Lecturer and Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Research Fellow based in the School of Psychology, University of Wollongong. He is a registered Clinical Psychologist and has been awarded membership of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists. He has extensive clinical and research experience working with individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness and substance abuse problems.
Assoc. Prof. Kelly’s research is focused on cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention in disadvantaged and marginalised populations. He holds a number of research grants and consultancies supporting this work. His program of research is particularly focused on developing and trialling multiple health behaviour change interventions for at-risk population groups (i.e. mental health and substance abuse populations, Indigenous Australians). These interventions tend to focus on reducing smoking, improving diet and promoting physical activity.
He has published over 30 peer reviewed journal articles or book chapters, with the majority of this work focused on the non-government sector. Prior to completing his PhD, Assoc. Prof. Kelly was employed as the Chief Executive Officer at Kedesh Rehabilitation Services. Kedesh is a large organisation that provides both residential and outpatient treatment for individuals diagnosed with substance abuse problems and co-occurring mental illness.
Prof. John F. Kelly is the current Past President of the Society of Addiction Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the Elizabeth R. Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Masschusetts General Hospital, and a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction and related problems. He is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He treats individual, couples and families suffering from these difficulties. He maintains a private practice in Boston, MA.
Angela Argent (PhD) has worked within the NGO and university sectors for twenty years. She was Project Coordinator for Community Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Research Network (CMHDARN), a partnership project between the Network of Alcohol and other Drugs (NADA), Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) and the Mental Health Commission of NSW. She was Executive Officer at Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service Network, Senior Policy Officer for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Student Equity Officer at UNSW and Senior Research/Policy Officer at Schizophrenia Fellowship, Mental Health Coordinating Council, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Angela studied psychology (B.A hons. Ist Class) at Sydney University and completed a doctorate in the School of Historical and Gender Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. She taught for ten years at Monash and Sydney and was Honorary Research Associate at Sydney University while living and working in the Czech Republic from 2006 – 2011.
Social justice, social inclusion, as well as recovery-oriented, trauma-informed and evidence-led practice matter to her most. She wants to contribute to enabling people to experience and enjoy leading the most fulfilling lives possible.
Three teenagers and two mad cats keep her grounded. She is currently completing a Master of Creative Arts and reads and writes fiction for fun.
Associate Professor Victoria Manning is a Senior Researcher Fellow at Monash University and the strategic lead for the Treatment and Systems Research team at Turning Point. She is a chartered psychologist and holds a PhD on neurocognition and co-occurring disorders. She has worked as a clinical researcher for over 17 years in the UK, Asia and now Australia. Her research portfolio includes clinical trials, intervention studies prevalence studies and the examination of treatment outcomes. Her primary research interests are in trailing novel interventions to improve outcomes for substance dependent clients, co-occurring disorders and the role of peer support. In the UK she led the first trial of assertive linkage to peer-support recovery groups for clients post discharge from inpatient withdrawal. Victoria is the course co-coordinator for the Masters of Addictive Behaviours at Monash University where she oversaw the successful completion of the Patient Pathways study – examining the outcomes of 800 clients attending AOD services in two Australian states.