Michael O’Connell AM (Member of the Order of Australia) APM (Australia Police Medal) MPubPol (with Distinction) BSocSc FGLF (Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation) is a consulting Victimologist; Victim Advocate for Second Chances SA; Member of the International Network of Services for Victims of Terrorism; and, Foundation Board Member of Victim Support Asia. He is also the Patron, Love Hope and Gratitude Foundation.
Michael served as the inaugural Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, South Australia (2006-2018). Before that appointment, he served as the state’s first Victims of Crime Co-ordinator and while employed as a police officer he was appointed the state’s first Victim Impact Statement Co-ordinator.
Further, Michael is a life member of the World Society of Victimology (WSV). He served as the WSV Secretary-General from 2012-2022 and chaired various committees between 2006-2022, including the WSV United Nations Liaison Committee 2018-2022. Michael is an ‘expert’ volunteer with the United Nations and has served on projects, including the revision of the Handbook on Justice for Victims of Crime, the drafting on a handbook to help NGOs and others in Asia-Pacific assist and protect victims of terrorism, and the drafting of model legislative provisions to support and protect the rights and needs of victims of terrorism.
Michael is a Vice President for the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that is affiliated with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Vienna Austria and the United Nations, New York.
He lectures and writes in the field of Victimology and criminal justice, as well as volunteers as a journal editor (e.g. Journal of Victimology and Victim Justice) or advisor (e.g. Global Advances in Victimology and Psychological Studies).
In 1995 he was awarded the Australia Police Medal (APM) for his work to advance responses to the needs of victims of crime. He was one of four finalist-nominees for the South Australia Australian of the Year 2004. In 2010 he received Victim Support Australasia’ national award for advancing Victimology and promoting victims’ rights; and, in 2017 he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In 2018, the World Society of Victimology presented Michael with the Irene Melup Certificate of Appreciation. In 2019, he again was one of four finalist-nominees for the South Australia Australian of the Year 2020.
As an Australia Day Ambassador, Michael has attended Australia Day events across South Australia in, among other places, Coober Pedy, Cooper Triangle, Millicent and Norwood.