Sally Kelty


Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Canberra (UC), specialising in criminal psychology. I have worked in the public sector (Justice Department), private sector, NGOs and within university research institutes. I have an emerging track record in high-impact consultancy and contract research producing over 50 academic peer-reviewed publications, 20 Industry papers, and have been awarded over $500,000 in research funding. I have been invited to deliver keynote presentations on my work, in the UK, New Zealand and within Australia.

My current research is in the following areas:

  • Public support for novel DNA analysis methods by police in criminal and missing persons investigations.
  • Well-being and stress management in law enforcement and emergency management agencies.
  • Creating psychological profiles of top performers (advising on recruiting and training top performers).
  • Understanding effective intervention by friends, neighbours, and colleagues in coercive control and family abuse.T

My research has real-world impact and involves being embedded within industry. I have considerable experience working successfully in multi-disciplinary teams of practitioners, experts, and researchers. The impact of the research findings from the teams I have led or worked within, have changed sexual assault investigation policy in three states, amended the law in respect of what evidence is sufficient in order to build a prosecution brief for sexual assault in two states, and has advised law enforcement agencies on best practice in the recruitment and early career development training for forensic scientists.

I have supervised 7 PhD students to completion, at the University of Canberra (2), at the University of Tasmania (5). I currently supervise 3 PhD students in Law and Psychology at the University of Canberra. 

Between 2009 to 2015 I worked with the Australian Police Commissioners Advisory Agency and Specialist Forensic and Policing Advisory Groups to unpack effective multidisciplinary working practices and sharing of information between law enforcement, scientific, medical and legal practitioners. The critical decision model created from this work won me a national award from the National Institute of Forensic Science and recognition from the Australian and New Zealand Policing Advisory Commissioners Board. I currently teach this method of critical decision modelling to my students enrolled in the Forensic Psychology Unit I deliver at UC.  

I was the inaugural President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (Tasmanian Branch) and I am a current member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. 

I have completed two research fellowships: An ARC Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tasmania and an NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Western Australia.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD. You Have To Hit Some People. It Is All They Understand, Murdoch University

Award Date: 14 Jun 2006

External positions

Adjunct Researcher, University of Tasmania

31 Dec 201531 Dec 2017


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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