Dr Katherine McLachlan

Senior Lecturer

College of Business, Government and Law

place Bedford Park (3.24)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Katherine has extensive experience working in the criminal justice system. She held lead policy and project roles in the SA Attorney-General’s Department, forensic mental health, Child Protection, Department for Correctional Services, Equal Opportunity Commission and SA Parliament. She was an Intelligence Analyst with the South Australia Police and the Sexual Assault Research Analyst at the Australian Institute of Criminology. She has also worked as the Quality and Research Manager for Victim Support Service. In 2015, she was appointed by the Minister for Correctional Services as the victim representative on the Parole Board of South Australia, and was re-appointed in 2018 and 2021.


Katherine completed an Honours Degree and a Research Masters in Laws at Flinders University, exploring police responses to women who had been raped. She also has an Honours degree in Psychology, exploring the prediction of violent recidivism by surveying people in prison. In 2010, she completed her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia. Katherine has a PhD in Law, and was a 2018-2021 RTPd PhD Scholarship recipient.

Honours, awards and grants

In 2017, Katherine established UniSA’s Bachelor of Criminal Justice. For this work, she was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) Excellence in Teaching award (2019) with collaborators, Rebecca Medhurst, Tracey Johnson and Ruth Fazakerley.

Teaching interests

I am particulary interested in teaching topics related to victimology, trauma-informed criminal justice, sentencing and desistance, gendered violence and sexual assault, and evidence-informed criminal justice practices (rather than the over-use of incarceration).

Topic coordinator
LEGL2117 Crimes Against Populations
CRIM3021 Victims of Crime
CRIM2004 Understanding Victims and Trauma
CRIM1102 Criminal Justice System
CRIM3402 Advanced Criminology Research Methods and Data
Topic lecturer
CRIM1101 Crime and Criminology
Supervisory interests
Criminal justice
Domestic violence
Interpersonal violence across the lifespan
  • Sentencing
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Victims of Crime
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