Debra Smith has published articles in peer-reviewed journals since 1989, and has authored texts on disabilities, social capital, prisons and group work.


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Life After Death

Life After Death is a resource guide for families, friends

and support staff with advice to counsellors and researchers; Preparing people with intellectual disabilities for bereavement and loss. This guide covers the following 7 areas:

– Death and Disability: Double Taboo
– What is Death?
– Understanding Death
– Bereavement Experiences

– Personal and Emotional Strategies
– Education
– Practical and Environmental Strategies

Paperback | English |65 pages

Author: Debra Smith

Publication Date: 2000

Publisher: Australian Institute on Intellectual Disability

ISBN: 0 9586 960 2 0

Letters To Bridge

Letters to Bridge is a book documenting the history and stories from Building Respect Inspiration Diversions Gaining Empowerment (BRIDGE) foundation, a small community based organisation which ceased to operate in 2012. The foundation supported prisoners on release, ex-prisoners and their families. This book captures some of these experiences and provides some of the examples the foundation achieved such as:

– Jan Summers Poetry Competition
– Prisoner Stories
– Beginning of the Bridge Foundation
– Bags for Release Programme
– Sentences Annual Literacy Competition
– Volunteer Story

Paperback | English | 76 pages

Edited by: Debra Smith

Publication Date: 2012

Publisher: Ginninderra Press

ISBN: 978 1 74027 765 5

Treated As Normal – Two Psychologists Journey Into Group Work

Treated As Normal is a book that explores the achievements of participants through group work. This book is not a how to manual, it is a memento of Jeanette and Debra’s work together. They have spent many years facilitating various groups in the community which has positively benefited individuals throughout the process.

This book shares with the reader:

– How it all started
– Setting the Scene (Designing a Group)
– Issues for Running Groups
– Evaluation
– Running the Group

Paperback | English | 55 pages

Author: Jeanette Gibson and Debra Smith

Publication Date: 2016

Printed by: Black Rainbow

In Prison

In Prison is based on the PHD studies of Dr Debra Smith involving extensive research in Public Health in Prisons.

The information, research and theory behind this book covers:

– Introduction
– Power and Control
– Drugs in Prison
– Healthier Than Expected
– Why Have Prisons?
– Constantly Compromised: Working in the Prison as a Therapist
– Any Suggestions?

Paperback | English |130 pages

Edited by: Debra Smith

Publication Date: 2008

Publisher: Ginninderra Press

ISBN: 978 1 74027 5217

Smith, D. (1989). ‘Breaking the barriers’. Interaction. National Council of Intellectual Disability: Canberra.

Smith, D. (1990).’Consumer Participation’.  Interaction. National Council of Intellectual Disability: Canberra.

Smith, D & Wilkin, C. (1996). ‘A round peg in a square hole: changes in rural health services’. Interchange, Australian Journal of Primary Health .2(2)

Smith, D. (1996). ‘Access, Ability, Disability’. Link, 5(4).

Smith, D. (1995). ‘The Foundations are Laid’ Annual Report of Primary and Aged Care   Services, Central West Health Service, Orange, NSW.

Smith, D. (1996). ‘How do we play Community Health?’ Annual Report of Primary and Aged Care Services, Central West Health Service, Orange, NSW.

Smith, D. (1997). ‘Goals and Targets: Applicability to Primary Health Care’. Interchange, Australian Journal of Primary Health .3(1)

Smith, D (1997). ‘Bridge Closure – Impact on a Community’, Community Quarterly, no. 44/45, Sept.-Dec. pp 44-49.

Smith, D. (1997). ‘Please don’t say who told you.’ Overland, no. 152, pp 95-96.

Smith, D (1999) ‘How has social capital fared in Kennett’s Victoria?’ Social Alternatives.

Smith, D ( 2002) ‘They work in mysterious ways’ Social Alternatives vol 20 No 1, pp 56-61

Smith, D  (2002) ‘Building False Hopes Tirra Lirra Autumm p. 9

Smith, D & Gibson, J (2002) ‘Can a prison practice good public health?’ Australian Journal of Primary Health vol 8, no 3 pp 81-86

Smith, D. (2000) Death, Grief & the Intellectually Disabled, National Council of Intellectual Disability: Canberra.

Smith, D (2003) Editor. Fighting the Demons, Ginninderra Press: Adelaide

Smith, D (2005) Editor. Out of Sight Out of Mind, Ginninderra Press: Adelaide

Smith D & Gibson J (2009) Chapter Three: Correctional Compassion, Compassion in Psychology, ed M Kostanikas, Cambridge Press, Boston

Smith D (2009) Prison, Ginninderra Press: Adelaide.

Smith, D (2012) Editor Letters To Bridge. Ginninderra Press: Adelaide

Smith, D & Gibson, J (2016) Treated as Normal, Black Wattle Press, Bairnsdale


Smith, D. (1994). Management in the Central West Health Service, 1ST Annual Primary Health Care Forum, Central West Health Service, October 1994.

Smith, D. (1994). Future Role of District Nurses, District Nursing Seminar, Orange, November, 1994.

Smith, D. (1995). The HACC/Health Interface – Health’s Side, Gerontology Conference, Bathurst, May 1995.

Smith, D. (1995). The HACC/Health Integrated Care Project, AWROC Conference, Wodonga, September 1995.

Smith, D. (1995). A Round Peg in a Square Hole : Changes to a Rural Health Service, 6th Annual Primary Health Care Conference, Sydney, November 1995.

Smith, D. (1996). Is Anybody Out There?, Rural Mental Health Conference, Orange, March 1996.

Smith, D. (1996). Why don’t you talk to each other?, Carers Seminar, Cowra, October 1996
Warren, P, Hart, C, Smith, D, Butler, K, Dymock,J. (1997). ‘Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: A strategy for organisational change’. Paper presented to the Joint National Conference – NALAG, ACISA, ASTSS ‘Trauma, Grief & Growth -finding a path to healing’, Sydney University, May, 1997, and published in Conference Proceedings.

Smith, D. (1997). ‘They wouldn’t dare would they? The effects of the Kennett government on rural Victoria’, National Social Policy Conference, University of NSW, July, 1997.

Smith, D. (1997). ‘There are none of those services in my community are there?: the effects of the Kennett government on rural Victoria.’ Children’s Welfare Association Conference, Melbourne, November, 1997.

Smith, D. (1998). ‘The role of the Government: public protector or private provider?’. Social Capital Conference, Adelaide, July, 1998.

Smith, D & Gibson, J (2001) ‘Reclaim Therapy’. Narrative and Family Therapy Conference Adelaide.

Smith, D. & Gibson, J (2003) ‘Concrete Counselling’, APS conference: Melbourne.

Smith, D & Gibson, J (2008) ‘Group work in private practice: Pain Management’, Counselling Psychologist  Conference: Melbourne


Smith, D & Butler, K. (1995). ‘Diabetes and Doctors in Rural NSW’.

Smith, D. (1995). ‘Consumer views of diabetes services.’

Smith, D. (1995). ‘Service providers of diabetes care.’

Smith, D. (1994). ‘Evaluation of Aged Care Assessment Team, – Central West and Lachlan.

Smith, D. (1995).’Evaluation of NSW Falls Prevention Project.’

Smith, D, Butler, K, Dymock, J. (1996).’Evaluation of Hospital Health Promotion at Orange Base.’

Smith, D. (1997). ‘Strengthening Communities: Evaluation of Wurruk Community House.’
Smith, D. (1997). ‘Bruthen Case Study.’

Smith, D. (1998). ‘They Wouldn’t Dare Would They? The effects of the Kennett Government  on the Well Being of Rural Victorians.’

Smith D & Marshall T (2001) Evaluation of Drug Treatment Unit: Fulham Correctional Centre.

Smith, D  & Gibson J (2001) Reclaim Therapy: An Evaluation. Fulham Correctional Centre.