Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Australian of the Year


2020 SA Australian of the Year Nominee

Michael O'Connell AM

State: South Australia

Advocate for victims of crime and terrorism

For decades, now-retired police officer Michael O'Connell AM has spoken out for victims of crime. He devoted his career to bringing justice to those wronged – and has been instrumental in most of the changes to laws and procedures to improve outcomes for victims.

Michael has advocated for victims' families in high-profile crimes, including the deaths of Karlie Pearce and her daughter Khandalyce (the infant found dead in a suitcase near Wynarka) and Kirsty Boden, murdered in the London Bridge terror attack. He has also built trusted relationships with thousands of victims – some of whom still seek his help.

A loving husband and father, Michael received awards and commendations throughout his career. He was also appointed the inaugural Victim Impact Statement Coordinator, Victims of Crime Coordinator, and South Australia's and Australia's first Commissioner for Victims' Rights.

In retirement, he still volunteers for organisations supporting victims and moderates for UN projects, helping victims of terrorism.


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