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Professor Manjula Datta O’Connor is a psychiatrist in private practice with clinical and research   interest in migrant women’s mental health, family violence and complex trauma and trauma therapy.  She is Hon Clinical A/ Professor at the Department of Psychiatry University of Melbourne, and Adjunct Professor University of New South Wales Department of Social Sciences.​ 

Professor Manjula Datta O’Connor is the Chair of  the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Family Violence Psychiatry Network.  She is the author of bestselling book   Daughters of Durga.   Manjula co-founded the Australasian Centre for human rights and health (ACHRH) in 2012.


She successfully led the dowry abuse campaign in Australia culminating in law change in Victoria, triggered Senate Hearing in dowry abuse and related practices in Australia in 2017, and currently advocating to change Federal Laws to ensure dowry gifts are quarantined in Family Property disputes. ​Manjula’s work is cited in Victorian and Federal Australian Parliaments.


She is the recipient of Victorian Government multicultural award ‘Excellence In Service Delivery in Women Health’ , Australia India Business and Community Excellence Award , recognised as Top 20 Indians of Australia.


She is also a distinguished recipient of the RANZCP 2023 Victorian Branch Meritorious Award, from an illustrious list of 15 nominees. 


Image Credit: Jackson Gallagher,  Guardian

Family Violence in Psychiatry 

Family violence was a neglected topic in Psychiatry until 2014. Dr Manjula brought attention to this issue to the Victorian branch of the Royal College of Australian and New Zealand Psychiatrists. She initiated and chaired the Family Violence Working Group . Based  on that concept the RANZCP Board recommended the formation of binational Family Violence Psychiatry Network in 2017. Dr Manjula is the inaugural Chair. She has been instrumental in bringing about the College recommendation that Psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand attend educational activities in Family Violence and Mental Health for at least four hours in any two year period.

Current Professional Appointments and Affiliations

  • Consultant Psychiatrist 3/20 Collins Street medical Centre, Melbourne 3000.

  • Hon A/ Professor Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne 2021-current

  • Adjunct 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 2018-2022

Advisory Roles

  • Invited to join the advisory group to Family Safety Victoria, Government of Vicotria.

  • Lifeline DV Alert advisory group on training for frontline workers.

  • 1800RESPECT advisor around responding to family domestic violence in South Asian migrant communities.

  • South Asian Community Ministerial Advisory Group

  • 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.

  • Indian Care community group

  • InTouch Perpetrators program for South Asian men.

Voluntary Appointments - Current

  • Founding Director Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health since 2012 (

  • Member Lifeline ‘s DV-alert Program Enhancement Project Advisory Panel (2022) 

  • Member Home Affairs Multicultural Women’s Reference Group (2022)

  • Family Safety Vicotria Multicultural Working Group (2022)

  • Ambassador Full Stop Australia (2022)

  • Member The Lyceum Club Melbourne. (2008)

Voluntary Appointments - Past

  • Past Vice President Australia India Society of Victoria (2009-2013)

  • Founding Chair AISV “Taskforce Against Domestic Violence” in Indian and Ethnic Women. Recognised by the President of India. The citation is part of award for Australia India Society (Victoria PBD award 2013).

  • Advocate White Ribbon Australia (2017-2020)

  • Member Mental Health Foundation Board (2009-2015)

  • Past Community Ambassador Opportunity International Microfinance. (2010-2014)

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