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Honorary Research Associate

BPsych (Hons), MPsych, GradDip Ed, PhD

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

Associate Professor Melissa O'Donnell holds an honorary position at Telethon Kids Institute and is an adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.

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

This administrative data was 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.

During her time working at the Institute, Melissa was also a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the International Child Maltreatment Data Working Group.