The Commissioner is appointed by the Governor as an independent statutory officer who helps victims in their dealings with the criminal justice system, public officials and public agencies. The Commissioner can consult public officials on their treatment of victims for the purpose of determining if there has been a breach of the Declaration of Principles governing treatment of victims of crimes .
About the Commissioner
Michael O'Connell APM DipBusAdmin DipJusticeAdmin BSocSc MPubPol&Admin, Commissioner for Victims' Rights. Before his appointment as Commissioner, Michael was South Australia's first Victims of Crime Co-ordinator. Previously, he served for over 20 years as a police officer during which he was the inaugural Victim Impact Statement Co-ordinator.
Michael co-chairs the National Victims of Crime Working Group, which developed the National Framework on Victims’ Rights and Victim Assistance. He as well is a member of the Sentencing Advisory Council in South Australia.
He lectures on victimology, crime prevention and criminal justice, and he writes articles and chapters in these disciplines; and, he is a consulting editor for International Perspectives of Victimology. Michael is a life member of the World Society of Victimology and its current Secretary-General.
As Commissioner for Victims’ Rights and as a member of the Executive for the World Society of Victimology, Michael has spoken at side-events at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (2009, 2014), and spoken at ancillary meetings at the UN Crime Congress (2010) as well as the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (2012).
In 1995, he was awarded the Australia Police Medal for his work to advance the interests of victims of crime. Michael was a finalist in the South Australia division of Australian of the Year in 2004; and in 2010 Victim Support Australasia presented him their national award for his work advancing victims' rights and victimology in Australia.
Commissioner O’Connell was also a founding member of the South Australia Institute of Justice Studies and a former member of the SA Justice Administration Foundation. He is a life member of the Institute; and for over a decade on behalf of the Institute chaired the Law Week Committee, convened the annual Justice Oration and organised the Justice Awards for Media Excellence.
Michael is an Australia Day Ambassador and a White Ribbon Ambassador. He supports Amnesty International (USA) and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court