Dr Melissa O’Donnell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, the University of Western Australia. Dr O’Donnell has a Master’s degree in Psychology and a PhD in Paediatrics and Child Health. She utilises linked government data from the Western Australian Departments’ of Health and Mental Health; Child Protection and Family Support; Education; and Justice and Disability Services to investigate outcomes, and risk and protective factors for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
Dr O’Donnell collaborates with government agencies to inform policy relevant research to improve the outcome for children through prevention and early intervention. Her work has contributed to National and State policy and practice in the area of child protection and family support and including the National Child Protection Framework.
Dr O’Donnell is a member of the International Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collections through the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.