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Senior Research Fellow

BPsych (Hons), MPsych, GradDip Ed, PhD

Areas of research expertise: Child maltreatment and linked cross-jurisdictional data.


Dr Melissa O'Donnell is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow, a Psychologist, and Research Associate at The University of Western Australia. 

Melissa completed her PhD in 2009 through the University of Western Australia. Her research uses longitudinal population data from the Western Australian Government Departments of Child Protection, Health, Corrective Services and Education which has been linked and de-identified through the Data Linkage Unit at the Department of Health.

This administrative data is being used to: investigate emergency department presentations and hospital admissions related to child abuse and neglect; determine the mental health and juvenile justice outcomes of children who have contact with the child protection system; and investigate the child, family and community characteristics which increase or reduce vulnerability to child abuse and neglect.

Melissa is a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the International Child Maltreatment Data Working Group.