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Professor of Vocational Education and Training, Federation University Australia

Erica Smith joined Federation University Australia in March 2008. Prior to this she was Professor of Vocational Education and Training (VET) at Charles Sturt University where she was discipline leader in VET and convenor of Charles Sturt University's research grouping RIVET (Research in Vocational Education and Training) from 2003-2008. At the University of Ballarat, Erica was Dean of Graduate Studies from 2008-2010, then Chair of the dual-sector Curriculum Committee. She is now the program co-ordinator for VET teacher-education programs in the School of Education and also the convenor of the national group of VET teacher-educators - the Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG). Erica is the convenor of FedUni’s research group Research in Adult and Vocational Education (RAVE).

Erica is Australia’s foremost apprenticeship researcher, and an internationally-recognised expert on VET teachers, their work and qualifications. Other areas of expertise include VET policy, training in workplaces, competency-based training, and the school-to-work transition.

Erica has managed over 30 national and international research projects including four Australian Research Council -funded grants. She is a peer assessor for ARC grants and for the Excellence in Research Australia exercise, and for funding schemes in other countries. Erica's work has been cited in government inquiries many times, she has advised international governments, and she is frequently invited to speak to practitioner audiences. She has been the member of many national working parties in VET and in higher education. She is a member of the editorial board of several national and international journals.

Erica is a member of the Education Industry Reference Committee, which has the responsibility of developing Training Packages (VET qualifications) for the Education Industry and reports to the Australian Industry Skills Committee.

In addition to her academic career, which began in 1993, Erica has worked as a personnel manager in industry, TAFE teacher, community worker, manager of a Registered Training Organisation and Executive Director of a State Industry Training Advisory Board.


  • –present
    Professor, Federation University