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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. John F. Kelly is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School – the first endowed professor in addiction medicine at Harvard. He is the Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute (RRI) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS), and the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) at MGH.
Dr. Kelly is a past President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology, is a Fellow of the APA, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH); to national non-federal treatment institutions, such as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Caron Foundation; and to foreign governments.
He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and chapters in the field of addiction science and is currently an Associate Editor for several academic journals in the addiction field. He works with Psychology Today as a monthly contributor.
His clinical and research work has focused on the addiction treatment and recovery process, which includes research on:
- The translation and implementation of evidence-based practices
- Reducing stigma associated with addiction
- Addiction and criminal justice
- Addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of behaviour change
He is a licensed clinical psychologist actively working with individuals and families with alcohol and other drug use disorders, and is a Patient’s Choice award recipient for 2016. Dr. John F. Kelly, Ph.D. has been recognised as one of the top Boston psychology practices, verified by Opencare.com.
Dr John Kelly is a SMART Recovery (volunteer) Research Director and member of the SMART Recovery International Advisory Council.
Dr Angela Argent (PhD) is National Program Manager/ Research Lead at SMART
Recovery, Australia, working in partnership with the SMART Australia Research
Advisory Committee (RAC). She is also a member of the Research Ethics
Consultation Committee (RECC) for the Community Mental Health Drug and
Alcohol Research Network (CMHDARN) and a Health Education Officer at the
Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Sydney.
Angela studied psychology and humanities at Sydney University. She 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 for an NGO and
university in the Czech Republic. In 2019 she completed a research degree in
creative practices at UTS.
Angela has worked within NGO and university sectors for more than twenty years.
She possesses highly developed research and program management skills and a
strong track record in translating evidence into better practices and improved
outcomes. Angela has researched and published widely in a range of contexts.
Angela 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 is committed to evidence-led practices and partnerships that aim to build
social inclusion, put people at the centre of conversations, minimise harms and
build recovery capital in ways that are strengths- based and trauma-informed.
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.
Dr Alison Beck is an early-mid career researcher with part-time appointments at the University of Newcastle and University of Wollongong. She is a registered Clinical Psychologist, a member of the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists and is currently undertaking a PhD (Psychiatry) through the University of Newcastle. Dr Beck has considerable clinical and research experience working with adults with severe mental illness and/ or substance related disorders. She has been involved in the development, delivery and/ or evaluation of psychological interventions since 2005, including two NHMRC funded clinical trials.
Dr Beck completed a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle in 2004 and was awarded first class honours and a faculty medal. After completing her Professional Doctorate (Clinical Psychology) in 2009, she secured a competitive postdoctoral position at The Spectrum Centre, Lancaster University, UK. As part of her role, she worked as a facilitator on a group therapy trial for adults with experience of bipolar disorder. Upon returning to Australia, she has worked as a facilitator on a pilot trial of a group therapy intervention for adults in residential drug and alcohol settings (focusing on diet, exercise and smoking), as a Clinical Psychologist on the Mood Disorders Unit, Northside Clinic, Greenwich and more recently, as a contract Clinical Psychologist at the R.E.A.D. Clinic, Erina. She is currently the trial-coordinator for a SMART Recovery project developing and evaluating an mHealth Routine Outcome Monitoring system.
Dr Beck has published 20 peer-reviewed journal articles (10 as primary/ senior author), including the first systematic review of SMART Recovery evaluation articles. She has also contributed to four treatment manuals, more than twenty conference proceedings and has secured over $600,000 in funding as CI or AI. She provides regular peer reviews for a range of leading journals, including Psychological Medicine, Addiction and Addictive Behaviors.
PhD, BSc (Psych) (Hons) – Briony Larance is an NHMRC Australian Public Health Early Career Fellowship recipient and has worked at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Faculty of Medicine, UNSW, since 2004. Her research interests include opioid dependence, opioid substitution therapy and pharmaceutical opioids. Her research focuses on understanding the trajectories and health consequences of pharmaceutical opioid use among diverse populations, including chronic pain patients and people who are opioid dependent and/or inject drugs. She has been involved in epidemiological and clinical studies utilising a range of methods, including randomised-controlled trials, post-marketing surveillance studies, analyses of linked administrative data and cohort studies. Current research projects include a large cohort study of patients being prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain; post-marketing surveillance studies of a tamper-resistant formulation of oxycodone; piloting interventions to improve the treatment of pain and the prescribing of pharmaceutical opioids in general practice; and a multi-site collaboration examining the pharmacoepidemiology of opioid use in Australia.