Michael O’Connell AM APM

Michael O’Connell AM APM

Consulting Victimologist, SA Nominee Australian of the Year 2020

From 2006 until 2018, Michael was appointed South Australia’s (and Australia’s) first Commissioner for Victims’ Rights. Prior, Michael was SA’s first Victims of Crime Co-ordinator and, before that, while serving as a police officer, he became the State’s first Victim Impact Statement Co-ordinator.  He is a Life Member, a past Secretary-General and current Depart Chair UN Liaison of the World Society of Victimology; a Vice President of the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice; a Member of the International Network of Services for Victims of Terrorism; Board Member and Executive Officer of Victim Support Asia; and, the Victim Advocate (Prisoners’ children) for Second Chances SA;. For over a decade, Michael was a White Ribbon Ambassador; and is the Patron, Love Hope and Gratitude Foundation.

Since 2020, Michael has worked part-time as an Independent Decision Maker for Australia’s National Redress Scheme for adult survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions.  He is also a volunteer expert on crime victims’; rights for the United Nations. He is assisting with the revision of the UN Handbook on Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power as well as drafting both guidelines on assisting victims of terrorism in Asia-Pacific and model legislation covering victims of terrorism in general.

Michael strives to ensure victims are heard, their rights fulfilled and needs met. He lectures and writes in the field of victimology and holds degrees in social science and public policy and administration, plus diplomas in victimology and criminology. In 1995 he was awarded the Australia Police Medal for his work to advance responses to the needs of victims of crime. In 2017 he became a Member of the Order of Australia.

In 2004 and 2018 he was a nominee-finalist for South Australia’s Australian of the Year.

Meet our Ambassadors

Dr Felicity-ann Lewis

Community Leader & 2014 SA Australian of the Year

A dedicated, dynamic leader, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis is passionate about creating a better, healthier, more inclusive Australia

Chris Schacht

Former Senator & President of Volleyball Australia

Chris is a former President of the Australian Volleyball Federation and an elected representative to the Legal Commission of the “Federation Internationale de Volleyball”. He is also a board member of numerous worthwhile organisations.
Professor Jennifer McKay AM

Professor Jennifer McKay AM

Professor - Business, Law and Environment

Professor Jennifer McKay AM is an academic lawyer with a passion for research to celebrate some but reform other laws to achieve a sound and clean environment for future generations.
Professor Rob Morrison OAM

Professor Rob Morrison OAM

Scientist, former host of The Curiosity Show, SA State Recipient Senior Australia of the Year 2008

Rob has had a dual career as academic and science broadcaster and writer. He is currently a Professorial Fellow at Flinders University. He has written more 40 books and co-written 13 more on science and natural history.
Anthony Hart

Anthony Hart

Mental Health Advocate & Nominee South Australian Local Hero 2022

In November 2003, Anthony Hart made a significant attempt on his life. Through a remarkable stroke of luck, he clung onto life and survived. Since then, Anthony has been on a mission to empower men to identify and address challenges before they escalate into serious mental health issues.

Ingrid Kennerley

Mental Health Advocate & 2019 South Australia Citizen of the Year

After her husband’s suicide, Ingrid displayed incredible strength and resilience, guiding her children through the tragedy, and maintaining her volunteering and support roles that are so vital to small communities.