Debra Smith

Debra Smith is a Research Professor at Victoria University. She co-leads the Applied Security Science Partnership (ASSP), comprising academics, Victoria Police, Defence Science Technology (DST), and community groups, working collaboratively to enhance understanding of terrorism and violent extremism. Her research program focuses on behavioural indicators associated with mobilising to violence, the contemporary extreme right in Australia, and effective early intervention and rehabilitation strategies for people engaged in violent extremism. She has a particular focus on translating research for frontline practitioner use and provides training to state and federal policing agencies, government departments, and other frontline workers on Australia’s countering violent extremism early intervention and case management program. Debra was awarded her Ph.D. in Political Science from Monash University for her exploration of the role of emotion within decisions to engage in violent political extremism. She also holds a B.A. (1st class Honours) from the School of Social and Political Inquiry at Monash University. Debra was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award (2019) for Excellence in Engagement and the Vice Chancellor’s Award (2020) for Excellence in Research. She was appointed by the Victorian State Government to the expert panel for the Independent Review of Effective Case Management and Information Sharing Barriers relevant to Violent Extremism. She co-edited Australia’s first book on the Far- Right in Contemporary Australia (with Dr Mario Peucker), and is currently co-authoring the book, International Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in the Australian Context for Palgrave MacMillan (with Dr Andrew Zammit).