Verity Firth is the Executive Director, Social Justice leading the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is currently spearheading the University’s Social Impact Framework, a first of its kind in the Australian university sector.
Ms Firth has over fifteen years’ experience at the highest levels of government and not for profit sector in Australia.
As Minister for Education and Training she focussed on equity in education, and how to best address educational disadvantage in low socio economic communities, including rural and remote indigenous communities.
As Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer) she negotiated the passage through Cabinet of
an historic Anti-Tobacco package which gave NSW the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the country at
the time, including requirements that all tobacco products to be out of sight in retail shops, tobacco
restricted to a single point of sale in any retail outlet and smoking in cars with children banned. Ms Firth oversaw the operations of the Cancer Institute of NSW, Australia’s first statewide government
supported cancer control agency. Ms Firth also established the position of NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer in order to provide independent scientific advice to government.
Before her parliamentary career, Ms Firth worked as a lawyer and was Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.