Nick O'Brien

Heads of School

Associate Professor Nick O'Brien

Head of School, Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security / Centre for Law & Justice

Before joining Charles Sturt University, Nick O'Brien represented the UK Association of Chief Police Officers - Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee (ACPO-TAM) and all the UK police forces as the Counter Terrorism and Extremism Liaison Officer (CTELO) at the British High Commission in Canberra. Nick covered Australasia and had a 'watching brief' on the Asia and the Pacific region.

Prior to this posting Nick was in charge of International Counter Terrorism in Special Branch at New Scotland Yard. He also had responsibility for the National Terrorist Financial Investigations Unit (NTFIU) and International Liaison.

Nick has had national responsibility for all Special Branch training in the United Kingdom.

Nick represented the UK at the G8 Counter Terrorist Practitioners Meetings and was the author of the G8 paper on 'Best Practices in Dealing with Suicide Terrorism'. Nick has visited both Sri Lanka and Israel to study the phenomenon of suicide attacks.

Nick has also represented the UK at Europol and the European Police Working Group on Terrorism.

Nick has spoken on Counter Terrorism at Conferences in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Malaysia.

Nick has also visited a number of countries on terrorist related matters: France, Holland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Southern Ireland, Indonesia, Greece, the United States, Canada, Israel, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Thailand, the Philippines as well as Australasia.

Nick is a visiting Fellow at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation in Indonesia.

He is a graduate of the international Leadership in Counter Terrorism (LinCT) programme and is currently a member of the LinCT Training Committee.

Nick first started working in the counter terrorism related area in 1981 and has worked on Irish as well as international terrorism.

Nick has written for various publications and has appeared on radio and television commentating on terrorist related matters.

Academically Nick has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management.

He sits on the Board of Management of the Australian Graduate School of Policing. He is on the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO) Journal Editorial Committee.


O'Brien, N. (2015). Handling of Monis letter appears more cock-up than conspiracy. ABC's The Drum, (9th June).

O'Brien, N. (2015). ANZAC plot to alienate police from Muslims. The Australian, (22nd May).

O'Brien, N. (2014). Why Islamic State glorified the Sydney siege. The Drum, (31st December).

O'Brien, N. (2014). Parliamentary push to 'ban the burqa' defies logic of real security. (3rd October).

O'Brien, N. (2014). Foreign fighter laws will make Australia safer. (7th October).

O'Brien, N. (2014). Islamic State wants Australians to attack Muslims: terror expert The Conversation, (18th September).

O'Brien, N. (2013). Did citizen sleuths give the FBI a run for its money in Boston? No The Conversation, (23rd April).

O'Brien, N; & Keelty, M (2012).  Crime Prevention, Social Networking and Covert Operations. In S. Sim(Ed.), Building Resilient Societies, Forging Global Partnerships (pp 149 - 159) Singapore: National Crime Prevention Council.

O'Brien, N. (2011). Social Networking and the Convergence of Technologies: The Pitfalls Ahead. Facility Perspectives, 5, 74-75

O'Brien, N. (2007, November). APEC Security - Overall a Success. Australian National Security Magazine, 35.

O'Brien, N. (2007, September). Australia's Secure Relationship with the UK. Australian National Security Magazine, 30.

O'Brien, N. (2007). The Case for Detention Without Charge in Suspected Terrorism Cases in Australia. In K. Michael & M. G. Michael (Eds.), From Dataveillance to Uberveillance and the Realpolitik of the Transparent Society (pp. 306). Wollongong: University of Wollongong.

O'Brien, N. (2007). Chaser stunt: funny or frightening? ABC News, (7th September). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2007, May). Chemical, Biological, Nuclear or Radiological Terrorism - Could it Happen? Australian National Security Magazine, 33-34.

O'Brien, N. (2007, March). International Priority - Intelligence Sharing. Australian National Security Magazine, 28-29.

O'Brien, N. (2007, June). New Barbarism. Australian National Security Magazine, 33-34.

O'Brien, N. (2007, July). New Laws Needed to Ban Terror Literature. Australian National Security Magazine, 36.

O'Brien, N. (2007). Security issue of the century or just hot air? ABC News, (25th September). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2007, August). Suicide Terrorism. Australian National Security Magazine, 32.

O'Brien, N. (2008, February). AFP's International Deployment Role Grows. Australian Security Magazine, 32.

O'Brien, N. (2008, March). AFP Training Program Gets Results. Australian Security Magazine, 25.

O'Brien, N. (2008). Could terrorists acquire and detonate nuclear weapons? A scenario. In K. Michael & M. G. Michael (Eds.), Australia and the New Technologies: Evidence Based Policy in Public Administration (pp. 89-104). Wollongong: University of Wollongong.

O'Brien, N. (2008). Interview with a Former Terrorist: Nasir Abbas' Deradicalization Work in Indonesia. CTC Sentinel, 1(12), 19-21.

O'Brien, N. (2008, April). Responding to High Tech Crime. Australian Security Magazine, 26.

O'Brien, N. (2008). Terrorism fight deserves support, scrutiny. ABC News, (11th March). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2008). Too Safe or Too Sorry? , 16.

O'Brien, N. (2008). Few winners in a sorry affair. ABC The Drum, (10th November). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2008). Mumbai attacks may signal change in terrorists' tactics. ABC The Drum, (2nd December). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2009). The Importance of the Definition of 'Torture' (pp. 18): Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

O'Brien, N. (2009). Time to sound the alarm The Age, (25th March). Retrieved from

O'Brien, N. (2010). The Practical Effects of the Human Rights Act 1998 on Policing in England and Wales In S. Bronitt, C. Harfield & K. Michael (Eds.), The Social Implications of Covert Policing (Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security, 2009) (pp. 125-130). Wollongong: University of Wollongong Press

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