Dr Melissa O'Donnell is a nationally and internationally recognised researcher in the area of child abuse and neglect. Her work utilises linked government data from the Western Australian Departments of Health, Mental Health, Justice, Police, and Communities and she also utilises the national AIHW data. Her research is focused on investigating and monitoring outcomes and risk and proctective factors for children and families who expereince child abuse and neglect and external cases of injury. Dr O'Donnell has successefully collaborated with government agencies to inform policy and practice to improve outcomes for children through prevention and early intervention. Her work has contributed to national and state policy and practice including the National Child Protection Framework and the development of the first Youth Health Policy for Western Australia. Dr O'Donnell has provided her expertise to the United Nations and sits on the International Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data Collections through the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Western Australia Premier's Early Career Scientist of the Year 2018