Current Professional appointments and affiliations. Consultant Psychiatrist 3/20 Collins Street Medical Centre, Melbourne 3000. Hon Clinical Ass. Professor Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne Adj. Professor UNSW School of Social Sciences Chair 'Family Violence Psychiatry Network’, Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Member Committee of Continuing Professional Development, Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Member Clinical Psychopharmacology Group. Appointed Assessor by Australian Health Professionals Regulation Agency (AHPRA) South Asian Ministerial Advisory Council Member 2018-current
My roles as a clinical Psychiatrist My focus on women’s mental health and family violence has occupied the past 3 decades of professional career . This included sexual and other forms of domestic violence perpetrated within families from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, including circum-Mediterranean ethnic groups and, later, South Asian groups, and racially fuelled bullying and violence committed in schools and other community settings.
Voluntary Organisational Appointments 1.Founding Director Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health since 2012 ( www.achrh.org) Past 2.Vice President Australia India Society of Victoria 2009-20013 Founding Chair AISV “Taskforce Against Domestic Violence” in Indian and Ethnic Women 2009-2013. 3.Advocate White Ribbon Australia sinc 2017. 4.Past Community Ambassador North Melbourne Football Club . 5.Member Mental Health Foundation Board 2009-2015 6.Past Community Ambassador Opportunity International Microfinance. 2010-2014 7.White Ribbon Culturally Diverse communities Refrence Group 2014-2018 White Ribbon Champion since 2010
Ensuring research is translated for communities I have been active in ensuring research is translated for communities via public education campaigns -ensure that communities understand the nature sexual and domestic abuse and common mental health disorders, suicide prevention through the NGO I co-founded the AustralAsian Centre for Human Rights And Health. I have been invited expert on Australian institute of Criminology research project on Intimate partner homicide, Suicide Prevention Network Crossroads by Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network, Brotherhood of St Lawrence Safer and Stronger Community group, IndianCare community group, InTouch Perpetrators program for South Asian men . 2005 was a signal moment, when I began a commute to India to re-embrace my heritage and became immersed in the cultural ecology of family violence. I chose to teach at a university at the foothills of the Himalaya which sought to integrate Vedic, Ayurvedic and other Indian medical and healing traditions with western mental health and sciences. In working with the Centre for Social Research in Delhi, focusing on community awareness raising about violence against unborn and new-born girls, I formulated questions about the cultural context of violence against women, which took me to examine the structure and propagation of the patriarchy at the heart of this transmission. Through my brief connection with the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBA&S), I explored the gendering of mental illness among husbands and wives of South Asian origin. My long term goal articulated during my medical education to support women of India, to enhance their independence in making choices in relation to their reproduction , and to earn gender equality and respect was re-awakened in 2005.
My Role as Inaugural Chair of the Family Violence Working group of the RANZCP Victorian Branch . I initiated the move within the Victorian Branch of the RANZCP to establish the Family violence Working Group in 2014. The Victorian Branch of RANZCP in recognition of my work in the community accepted and implemented my idea . I was given the role of the inaugural Chair and remained so until 2017 . Recognising the important contribution of the Victorian Family Violence Working Group the RANZCP expanded the Group to Bi –National ( Australian and NZ) Family Violence Psychiatry Network . In 2018 I was appointed the Inaugural Chair . The committee membership was derived from each state of Australia and NZ. In readiness to implement the Royal Commission recommendation 102 , with the gaol to enhance Psychiatrist education in Family Violence I successfully applied and was elected to the Committee for Continuing Professional Development of the RANZCP in 2017.
Community Work While these developments were taking place in India, I threw myself into parallel work in Melbourne. I took a leadership role in the Australia India Society of Victoria (AISV), founding its Taskforce against domestic violence in Indian Community. This brought me into contact with federal and state government agencies dealing with family and domestic violence, in particular the Department of Social Services. My standing was recognised by invited appointments such as the selection panel for the Victorian Women Honour Roll and White Ribbon Champion, White Ribbon Advocate and member of their Diversity Group, and Victorian Government’s multicultural award of excellence in service delivery to migrant women and multiple recognitions in the Victorian Parliament since 2010 and in Federal Parliament in 2018. In 2012, I founded a new NGO, the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH). This was the first think-tank for the South Asian community, and I led a series of participatory action research projects and have organised regular International women days and White Ribbon Day events with the South Asian community. We secured funding from federal and state governments. A number of community participatory theatre projects have explored the nature and solutions to domestic violence in Indian and South Asian community In September 2018 I was appointed to the South Asian Communities Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Victorian government
Awards and Recognition: Victorian Government Multicultural Excellence in Service Delivery Award for providing mental health care to migrant women. 2012 Victorian Parliament mentions Federal Parliament mentions Victorian Honour Roll selection panel, 2014-16. South Asian Ministerial Advisory Council Member 2018-current Invitation to the First national roundtable on responding to violence against culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women and their children. Sydney on 7 August 2015.DSS initiative Invitation Australia’s second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Organized by Office for Women, Invited to give evidence to the Senate Inquiry into Dowry Abuse on 21September 2018 Invited to give evidence to NSW Hearing into Criminalisation of Coercive Control February 2021. Awards Victorian Government Award Excellence in delivery of health care to migrant women. Women's Agenda National Award Change Maker Runners Up.
1.Manjula O’Connor and Amanda Lee . The health impacts of dowry abuse to South Asian communities in Australia. Australian Medical Journal of Australia. December 2021 2. Manjula O'Connor. Invited Book Review: Heart of Violence. Why People Harm Each Other. Australasian Psychiatry. November 24, 2020 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1039856220970045 3. Manjula O’Connor. Adjunctive therapy with brexpiprazole improves treatment resistant complex post traumatic stress disorder in domestic family violence victims. Australasian Psychiatry June 2020, Vol 28(3) 264–266 4.Manjula O’Connor, Samir Ibrahim .2018. Suicidality and family violence in Australian immigrant women presenting to out-patient mental health settings. An observational study. Australasian Psychiatry. 2018 Apr;26(2):224-225. 5. Kirsty Forsdike. Manjula O'Connor, David Castle Kelsey Hegarty .2018. Exploring Australian psychiatrists’ and psychiatric trainees’ knowledge, attitudes and preparedness in responding to adults experiencing domestic violence. July 2018. Australasian Psychiatry .DOI: 10.1177/1039856218789778. 6.Sudha Subramani , Manjula O’Connor . Extracting Actionable Knowledge from Domestic Violence Discourses on Social Media. European Union Digital Library. 18(17): e2. Published 29th May 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.4108/eai.29-5-2018.154807. 7.Deidre Smith, Jerome Sarris, Nathan Dowling, Manjula O’Connor, Chee Ng. 22 February, 2017. Adjunctive low-dose docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for major depression: An open- label pilot . Journal of Nutritional neuroscience.n 8.Manjula O’Connor. March 27, 2017. Dowry related Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Australasian Psychiatry. 9.Colucci, E., O`Connor, M., Field, K., Baroni, A., Pryor, R., Minas, H. 2013. Nature of domestic violence, barriers to services among Indian immigrant women. Alterstice. International Journal of Intercultural Research 3(2). 10.O’Connor M & Colluci E. 2015. Exploring social distress in Domestic Violence in Australian Indian Migrant Women through Participatory Community Theater. January 2016, Journal of Transcultural Psychiatry. 11.O’Connor Manjula. 2014. Teaching empathy to men could save lives. The Age Opinion 23 November 2014.
Book : Daughters of Durga. Melbourne University Press. Release : 31 May 2022