Ashley Smith joined Dateline in late 2006, but his media career began over 40 years ago.
In 1965 and at 15 years of age he got his first job – as a dispatch boy for a London cinefilm lab. From there he moved to editing, working for various production companies. In 1974, while working as first assistant editor on the movie Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Ashley traveled to Australia where, in his words, he halved his pay but doubled his standard of living.
Since refusing to leave Australia, Ashley has found work as an editor, writer, producer and director. He’s produced and/or directed many documentaries from the classic ABC TV series A Big Country through to Bush Tucker Man and Two Men in a Tinnie.
He’s also produced current affairs pieces for Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent and SBS TV’s Insight. Along the way he’s picked up a few awards… including winner of the Middle Harbour Yachting Group Twilight Races 06-07 series.
In 2010, he received a UN Media Peace Award and a Walkley for producing Fouad Hady 's story, Iraq's Deadly Legacy, which looked at the possible links between depleted uranium weapons and an increase in babies being born deformed and children developing cancer in Iraq.
Ashley is married with an adult daughter. He says he lives for his family and sailing, which keeps him sane.