Profile image of Wendy O'Brien

Dr Wendy O'Brien



Adjunct Associate Professor


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Off-Campus (Home)

+61 3 924 43080


Dr Wendy O’Brien works with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, Vienna) on human rights-based criminal justice reform and equal access to justice. Wendy holds a concurrent appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor with Deakin University, Australia. She is also guest faculty at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI, Turin) where she teaches in the LL.M on Transnational Crime and Justice.

Wendy's academic research focuses on children’s rights, gender justice, and human rights-led law reform. She also conducts research on the human rights implications of the increased use of technology in the administration of criminal justice and social policy. Her current research focuses on children’s rights and criminal justice in the digital age. As part of her broader work on non-discrimination and gender justice, Wendy also conducts research in the field of LGBTQI+ and SOGIESC rights.

Wendy’s research is published in leading international human rights and criminology journals. Her co-edited book, Violence Against Children in the Criminal Justice System, was published by Routledge in 2020.

Wendy previously worked as Senior Specialist with the Australian Crime Commission, in the delivery of research and policy advice on gender-based violence and the legal and therapeutic responses to child victims and children in conflict with the law. She has regularly been called on to provide expert testimony to national and state inquiries on child protection, and to serve on research advisory boards for projects on violence prevention and safe schools.

Read more on Wendy's profile

Research interests

Research Interests

• children’s rights
• gender justice
• human rights-led law reform
• technology and human rights
• SOGIESC rights


In 2014 Wendy was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Innovation (Deakin University, Faculty of Arts and Education).


Filter by


Discrimination, stigmatization, and surveillance: COVID-19 and social sorting

M Maras, W O'Brien

(2022), pp. 1-27, Information and Communications Technology Law, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with harmful sexual behaviours.

Wendy O'Brien, Antonia Quadara, Olivia Ball, Will Douglas, Linna Vu

(2020), pp. 1-167, ANROWS Research Report, Sydney, N.S.W., A6

research report/technical paper

Youth justice 'crises' and the role for children's rights in ending cycles of violence against children in conflict with the law

W O'Brien

(2019), pp. 15-37, Violence Against Children in the Criminal Justice System: Global Perspectives on Prevention, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

A child's capacity to commit crime: examining the operation of Doli Incapax in Victoria (Australia)

Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Wendy O'Brien

(2019), Vol. 8, pp. 18-33, International journal For crime, justice and social democracy, Brisbane, Qld., C1

journal article

Violence against children in the criminal justice system global perspectives on prevention

W O'Brien, C Foussard

(2019), A7

edited book

Can human rights standards counter Australia's punitive youth justice practices?

W O'Brien, K Fitz-Gibbon

(2018), Vol. 26, International journal of children's rights, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The naming of child homicide offenders in England and Wales: the need for a change in law and practice

K Fitz-Gibbon, W O'Brien

(2017), Vol. 57, pp. 1061-1079, The British journal of criminology: an international review of crime and society, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Victoria (Australia): examining stakeholders' views and the need for principled reform

W O'Brien, K Fitz-Gibbon

(2017), Vol. 17, pp. 134-152, Youth justice, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The economic empowerment of women and girls

W O'Brien

(2017), Melbourne, Australia, A6

research report/technical paper

International legal norms on the right to sexual orientation and gender identity: Australian reforms contextualised

W O'Brien

(2016), pp. 121-140, Queering criminology, Basingstoke, Eng., B1

book chapter

'Cemented in their cells': a human rights analysis of Blessington, Elliott and the life imprisonment of children in New South Wales

W O'Brien, K Fitz-Gibbon

(2016), Vol. 22, pp. 111-133, Australian journal of human rights, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Child play therapists' understanding and application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: a narrative analysis

J Edwards, J Parson, W O'Brien

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 133-145, International journal of play therapy, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Can international human rights law accommodate bodily diversity?

W O'Brien

(2015), Vol. 15, pp. 1-20, Human rights law review, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Introduction to The continuum companion to existentialism

F Joseph, J Reynolds, A Woodward

(2011), pp. 1-14, The continuum companion to existentialism, London, England, B1-1

book chapter

Youth justice: challenges in responding to young people convicted of sexual offences

W O'Brien

(2011), Vol. 16, pp. 133-154, Deakin law review, Melbourne, Vic, C1-1

journal article

Challenges redoubled: contexts of risk and compromised access to services for children with sexualised behaviours

W O'Brien

(2010), Vol. 4, pp. 697-706, Child indicators research, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Australia's response to sexualised or sexually abusive behaviours in children and young people.

W O'Brien

(2010), Canberra, ACT, A6-1

research report/technical paper

Problem sexual behaviour in children: a review of the literature

W O'Brien

(2008), Canberra, ACT, A6-1

research report/technical paper

Feminine freakishness: Carnivalesque bodies in Angela Carter's nights at the circus

W O'Brien

(2006), pp. 1-20, Genders, Boulder, Colo., C1-1

journal article

Contesting identity politics in feminisms

W O'Brien

(2004), pp. 122-136, Third wave feminism : a critical exploration, Houndsmill, Eng., B1-1

book chapter

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Good practice in delivering and evaluating interventions for young people with sexually abusive behaviours

Dr Antonia Quadara, Dr Wendy O'Brien

Australia¿s National Research Organisation for Women¿s Safety

  • 2019: $26,137
  • 2017: $52,274


Associate Supervisor

Morgan Richard Burcher

Thesis entitled: Social Network Analysis as an Investigative Tool for Crime Intelligence

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences