Audrey Smith joined IWA in 1971 and served on IWA's West Riding Branch committee and North East Region Committee during 1973-1975. She was Secretary of the North Eastern Branch, then Region from 1973 - 1975. In 1977 she moved house and transferred to North Lancs & Cumbria Branch and served as Branch chairman from 1978 to 1984. From 1984 to 1987 she served as IWA North West Region Secretary, while her husband, David, took over as Branch Chairman. In 1987, Audrey became IWA North West Region Chairman thereby becoming a member of IWA's Council.
In November 1994 Audrey was elected national chairman of The Inland Waterways Association, a post she held until November 1998. Also in 1998 she was appointed IWA NW Region Vice-President. Audrey was appointed an OBE for services to IWA in June 1999 and appointed an IWA Vice-President in late 1999. In August 2002, Audrey was appointed chairman of Inland Waterways Enterprises Ltd, retiring at the end of 2008.