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Winthrop Professor of Law, The University of Western Australia

Professor Stephen Smith was Federal Member for Perth for the Australian Labor Party from March 1993 until September 2013. In a distinguished career spanning 20 years in the Australian Federal Parliament, Professor Smith served as the Minster for Defence, and prior to that, as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In opposition, Professor Smith held a range of Shadow Ministerial positions including Shadow Minister for Trade, Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Shadow Minister for Communications, Shadow Minister for Health, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations and Shadow Minister for Education and Training.

Professor Smith is from Narrogin, in rural Western Australia and spent his early years in Narrogin and Southern Cross. He received his secondary school education at Christian Brothers High School Highgate in Perth.

Professor Smith completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Western Australia and has practised as a Barrister and Solicitor in Perth. He then completed a Master of Laws in Public International Law at London University, and subsequently lectured and tutored in Law in London.

From 1983 to 1987 Professor Smith was Principal Private Secretary to the Attorney-General of Western Australia. From 1987 to 1990 he was the State Secretary of the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party.

During 1991 and 1992, Professor Smith was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Australia and Senior Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, Paul Keating.

He is Chair of the Asia Desk of Perth Law firm Lavan Legal and a member of the Government and Public Sector Advisory Board for Ernst and Young Australia. He is a board member of the Perth USAsia Centre.

Professor Smith is also on the board of Hockey Australia and maintains an active interest in cricket, hockey and Australian rules football. He is a proud member and keen supporter of the Fremantle Dockers football club.


  • –present
    Winthrop Professor of Law, University of Western Australia