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Patrick O’Leary

Professor and Director of Violence Research and Prevention Program, Griffith Criminology Institute and School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University


Patrick O’Leary is an internationally recognised researcher with significant expertise in domestic violence/gender-based violence, child protection, long-term impact of child sexual abuse (especially for men), social work, and socially excluded young people. He has conducted a number of complex research projects in Australia, USA, UK, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Albania, Sudan, Nepal, and Lebanon for international clients including Terre des hommes, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and UNICEF. Professor O’Leary’s work has influenced international domestic violence and child protection policy and practice. Professor O’Leary was commissioned as an Expert Academic Advisor to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Professor O’Leary is the Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee for Survivors and Mates Support Network (SAMSN) a lead national organization supporting male survivors of child sexual abuse. He has served as a Senior Research Fellow with UNICEF’s Office for Research. He holds three international visiting professorships. Since 2012 he has been successful in obtaining over 3 million dollars (AUD) in competitive research funding, giving a career total of over 4.5 million dollars (AUD). Professor O’Leary has published in high quality journals and his work has been highly cited. Currently he is the Co- Chief Editor of International Social Work published by SAGE. International Social Work has the largest subscription for all academic social work journals. Professor O’Leary is also the Co-Editor of the Contemporary Social Work Studies Series published by Routledge in the United Kingdom.

Professor O’Leary has held numerous senior posts at various universities. Currently he is Director of Violence Research and Prevention Program (VRPP) and member of the Executive Leadership and Research Committee in the Griffith Criminology Institute. The VRPP includes a team of more than 30 researchers and also operates the bystander intervention project, MATE. He also currently serves as Chair of Changing Attitudes and Behaviour Working Party for Safe Campuses at Griffith University, and leads internationalization for the School of Human Services and Social Work. Previously at Griffith University he was Head of School (2011-2018) where he supervised an unprecedented period of growth in the School of Human Services and Social Work. Social work at Griffith achieved its best Excellence in Research Assessment ranking of 4 (above world standard) in 2016-15. In 2018 The Australian Newspaper rated Griffith as the top ranked University for research in social work.

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