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School of Arts

Dr Margaret Camilleri

Position: Senior Lecturer
Discipline: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Location: Mount Helen Campus, Room H242 
Phone: 5327 6947


Doctor of Philosophy - University of Ballarat, 2010
Master of Social Science (Social Policy) - RMIT University, 2005
Graduate Diploma (Community Development) - RMIT University, 1994
Bachelor of Arts (Multicultural Studies) - RMIT University, 1992



Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice


  • Victims of Crime (CRJUS2476 and CRJUS3478)
  • Human Rights: Conventions to Practice (CRJUS2400)
  • Crime to Punishment (CRJUS1285)
  • Crime: Theory and Practice (CRJUS1283)
  • Explanations of Crime (CRJUS1287)
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (CRJUS2471)
  • Policing in Practice (CRJUS2474)
  • Australian Courts in an International Context (CRJUS2100)
  • Masters Dissertation


During the past 20 years Marg has worked in a range of justice related positions, including in Community Legal Centres, the Victoria Law Foundation and as Senior Policy and Research Officer for the Department of Justice and Regulation in Victoria. During this time Marg has worked collaboratively with numerous justice agencies in Victoria and nationally. Her work developing policies, business cases and conducting research in the area of access to justice and victim/witness support needs has provided Marg with a comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and processes.

Although in career terms Marg’s work as an academic has been relatively recent, her commitment and experience as an advocate in the areas described below commenced prior to entering academia. Throughout this period and more recently, the aim of her work, as an academic and advocate, has been to make salient the experiences of marginalised groups in the community who are the recipients of inequitable treatment by police and the broader justice system. In doing so, her work seeks to encourage and contribute to debate and identify opportunities for reform.

Areas of expertise

Marg’s research areas of interest were influenced by my work as an advocate, and in policy and research in a range of justice related positions. Social justice is the overarching theme which brings the various threads of her research areas together. Marg’s research has three foci: 1. To improve access to justice for groups in the community who are marginalised and to whom the justice system struggles to respond; 2. To make salient the victimisation and recovery experiences of crime victims more broadly, and in particular those whose voices are seldom heard; and 3. To improve system responses to marginalised groups either due to age, gender, mental health and disability.

  • Access to justice, namely the experiences of crime victims in the criminal justice system from report, investigation and at court. Informed by my PhD, this research comprises several themes, including to better understand the factors which inform police decision making about reports made by crime victims with disability and the generalised assumptions of disability which permeate through the justice system and which inform the justice system’s responses to victims of crime with disability. I am interested to understand the impact of intersectionality of gendered crimes, such as family violence and sexual assault, and disability on access to justice.
  • Understanding the role of place (either residential or geographic) in accessing justice. Disability combined with place appears to negatively influence access to justice, particularly when the victim has a cognitive impairment (mental illness, ABI or psycho-social impairments) or is nonverbal. In 2019 my research into the experiences with the justice system by people who have complex communication needs received funding from the Victorian Legal Services Board and a subsequent article, ‘Disabled in Rural Victoria: Exploring the intersection of victimisation, disability and rurality on access to justice’, was published in the International Journal of Rural Criminology.
  • Considering the role of structural and systemic response to various groups in society and how such systems can perpetuate inequity and injustice. Such systems serve to criminalise groups such as young people or perpetuate myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities, the effect of which is to exclude from society.

Research interests

  • Access to justice
  • Critical criminology
  • Victimology
  • Criminalisation of young people
  • Justice system responses to marginalised groups
  • Rural criminology
  • Experiences of people with disabilities of the justice system
  • Justice system responses to Family violence and sexual assault
  • Police decision making
  • Teaching criminal justice


Present doctoral students

  • Jennifer Martin - Women's experiences of health care in the prison system in Victoria: do they align with through-care principles and human rights framework? – Principal Supervisor
  • Kay Lancefield - Early intervention to reduce young peoples’ contact with the criminal justice system - Principal Supervisor (submitted)
  • Peter Smith – An investigation of the barriers to students with disability completing Higher Degree by Research in Australian Universities - Principal Supervisor
  • Lesley Cooper - The Potential of the Clemente Transformative Learning Approach to Empower Students who Experience Coercive Control in Family Violence - Principal Supervisor
  • Gerry Skene - Teaching with difference: barriers and enablers for teachers with impairments in professional roles - Associate Supervisor
  • Lauren Irvine - Women’s lived experience of their partner’s referral, to a men’s behaviour change program - Associate Supervisor

Completed honours students

  • Lesley Cooper - ‘Is there potential for a transformative education approach to contribute to desistance from offending by adolescents’? submitted 2019
  • Jennifer Martin – ‘Women’s health Care experiences in Victorian Prisons’ – submitted 2018
  • Peter Hearn – ‘Australian Newspapers’ Portrayal of the Martin Place Siege’ – submitted 2020


Project: Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership for Youth
Role: Principle Investigator
Funder: Legal Services Board + Commissioner
Value: $260,000
Duration: February 2014 to Current

Project: to explore the requirements of people with complex communication needs when interacting with the criminal and civil justice system.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Legal Services Board + Commissioner
Value: $57,270
Duration: October 2016 to December 2018

Project: Lived Experiences of participants in the MAST program.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Ballarat Community Health on behalf of Ballarat Youth Crime Prevention
Value: $11,353
Duration: February 2020 to May 2021

Project: Building health justice for young people in the Central Highlands Region
Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Victoria Law Foundation (through Youth Law)
Value: $5,000
Duration: February 2019 to March 2021



In development

Camilleri. M., Harkness. A., & Hale, R. Eds. (In development). Australian Courts: Controversies, Challenges and Change.

Book chapters

Camilleri. M. (with Dagma Jenkins) (In development) Victims Participatory Rights In Australian Courts: Controversies, Challenges and Change. Camilleri. M., Harkness. A., & Hale, R. Eds. Palgrave. Expected publication 2022

Camilleri. M. (In development). Victims with Disabilities In Harkness. A., Peterson, J., Bowden, M., Pedersen, C. & Donnermeyer, J (Eds) Encyclopedia of Rural Crime. Bristol University Press. Expected publication 2022

Ellis, S., Camilleri. M. & Hale. R. (In development) Police Persecutors in the Magistrates’ Court In Australian Courts: Controversies, Challenges and Change. Camilleri. M., Harkness. A., & Hale, R. Eds. Expected publication 2022

Refereed journal articles

Camilleri. M & Ollerenshaw. A (in review) A Health Justice Partnership for young people: Strategies for program engagement of young people and youth workers

Camilleri. M. (2019). Disabled in Rural Victoria: Exploring the intersection of victimisation, disability and rurality on access to justice. International Journal of Rural Criminology

Ollerenshaw. A & Camilleri. M (April, 2017) Health Justice Partnerships: Initial insights into the delivery of an integrated health and legal service for youth in regional Victoria. Journal of Rural and Remote Health

Refereed conference proceedings

Camilleri, M (2008) Enabling Justice – Paper presented at the National Victims of Crime Conference University of Adelaide, 23-24 September 2008


Camilleri. M (2020). Lived Experiences of participants in the MAST program. Evaluation report of the Mufti Agency Support Team (MAST), This evaluation was commissioned by the Ballarat Youth Crime Prevention Partnership Accountability and Governance Group (PAGG) for the Ballarat Youth Crime Prevention (YCP) Project.

Camilleri. M & Pedersen (2019) Hear Us: The experience of persons with Complex Communication Needs in Accessing Justice. Federation University

Camilleri. M, Ollerenshaw. A., Corbett. J., Taylor. M and Tania Burrows (2018) Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership: Evaluation Report. Victorian Legal Services Board

Victims Support Agency (2013) Information and support needs of victims and witnesses in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. Department of Justice Victoria

Sugden N. and Camilleri, M., (2011) Review of the National Coronial Information System, Department of Justice Victoria

Camilleri. M. (2010) 'Disabled Justice: Why reports of sexual assault made by adults with cognitive impairment fail to proceed through the justice system. PhD University of Ballarat

Goodfellow, J & Camilleri, M (2003) Beyond Belief - Beyond Justice: The difficulties for victim/survivors with disabilities when reporting sexual assault and seeking justice, Disability Discrimination Legal Service


  • World Society of Victimology
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology
  • International Society of Rural Criminology