The Smith Family's excellence in innovation recognised in 2018 AFR Most Innovative Companies List

31 July 2018

Today, The Smith Family was honoured to be recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies. The annual Top 100 list, published by The Australian Financial Review, is based on a rigorous assessment process managed by Australia’s leading innovation consultancy, Inventium, in conjunction with a panel of industry expert judges.

The Smith Family – Australia’s largest children’s education charity – ranked #63 on the overall list, from over 1000 nominated organisations across Australia and New Zealand. Applicants were assessed on two criteria: a top innovation implemented in the past 12 months, as well as innovation culture, strategy, resources and process.

The charity was acknowledged for its innovative online portal My Smith Family for Families, which was developed to respond to the evolving needs of students and families supported through the Learning for Life program. The portal is adding value to thousands of families from disadvantaged communities and to The Smith Family’s own operations by saving time, reducing costs and facilitating ease of interaction.

The Smith Family was also recognised for its commitment to building team members’ innovation capability through its internal program, Spark, and its systems for identifying and investing in sector-leading innovations.

Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family, said: “I’m very proud that The Smith Family has been ranked among the Most Innovative Companies in 2018 – one of the few charities to be included on the list. It is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation. We recognise that the world is changing rapidly, particularly for the disadvantaged young Australians we support, and we need to keep pace with that change.

“Innovation is vital to ensure that our work equips more young people to thrive in the 21st century and is one of the priorities in our Five-Year Strategy. I congratulate and thank all our team members, especially those who have made a particular contribution towards this achievement, and look forward to building upon this good work as we continue along our innovation journey in the years ahead.”

Dr Amantha Imber, CEO of Inventium, said: “The field of entrants for the 2018 AFR Most Innovative Companies list is the highest quality we have seen in seven years of judging the list. Making the 2018 list is a massive achievement and signals that the organisation is not only producing highly impactful innovations, but also has a sustainable approach to growth.”

The full Top 100 list can be viewed here.


The Australian Financial Review Most Innovative Companies list (previously the BRW Most Innovative Companies list) is now in its seventh year. The list ranks the most innovative organisations in Australia and New Zealand, and is the only national, cross-industry list of its kind. The list is judged and compiled by Inventium – Australia’s leading innovation consultancy. Inventium uses a unique, scientifically proven approach to help organisations grow through innovation. In 2018, the list comprised of a Top 100, compiled from over 1000 nominations. Visit

Media Enquiries: Jacqui Ooi, National Media Manager, The Smith Family – ph 0487 900 131 |