The Branch Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch. The Committee is elected for a period of one year and may stand for re-election at the next AGM. The President is a member of the Council of the ANZFSS, which meets in person at each Symposium, as well as at least quarterly by tele-conference.
The current NSW Branch Committee is:
Rebecca Johnson has a Bachelor of Science with honours in genetics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics from La Trobe University. Rebecca joined the Australian Museum in 2003 as Manager of the DNA Laboratory and then as Head of Research from June 2010 to December 2011. She is now Head of the Wildlife Genetics and Microscopy unit. She has over 16 years experience as a molecular geneticist, including as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, James Cook University, Townsville and Tufts University, Boston USA. Rebecca’s major interest is in the field of wildlife forensics. She has represented the Australian Museum on a number of government and industry committees in her area of expertise.
The Wildlife Genetics laboratory is one of the world leaders in DNA-based wildlife identifications and has done work for government agencies both in Australia and New Zealand including sample types such as: shark fins, bird embryos, gall bladders, seized fish meat, salted animal skin, bones and horns to list a few. A number of these cases have resulted in prosecution and heavy penalties in court.
Shari is a Professor in the Centre for Forensic Science (CFS) at the University of Technology Sydney. She is the Director of the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER) – the only facility in Australia where decomposition can be studied on human cadavers. She is an alumni of the CFS having completed her BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry – Forensic Science (2000) and PhD in Science (2003) at UTS. Shari spent seven years in Canada as the Director of the Forensic Science program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She returned to Australia in 2012 to commence an ARC Future Fellowship which focused on identifying an accurate chemical profile of decomposition odour using two-dimensional gas chromatography. Her research aims to enhance the training of scent-detection canines, particularly human remains detection dogs. Shari has consulted on forensic casework and assisted police to search for and locate human remains using police dogs and geophysics equipment in both Canada and Australia.
Crime Scene Officer Jennifer Raymond graduated with a BSC (Hons) in Forensic Science at the UTS in 2001, and joined the NSW Police Force Forensic Services Group in 2002 as a civilian crime scene officer. She is currently based at Chatswood Crime Scene Section, part of a 24/7 response to major crime scenes including shootings, assaults, fire scenes and vehicle crashes, and since 2007 she has been involved in the investigation of over 100 homicides. Dr Raymond completed her PhD thesis at UTS in 2010, on the characteristics of trace DNA evidence and its use in volume crime. She is a qualified Footwear Mark examiner and is the current chair of the Impressions Scientific Working Group (SWG), the national body for shoe and tyre mark evidence.
Jen has been a dedicated Society member for over 15 years. She joined the NSW Branch Committee in 2012.
Sonia is currently a Crime Scene Officer within Fingerprint Operations at NSW Police Force Forensic Services Group. Previously, she was a Director of the Australian Institute of Forensic Fire Investigation Pty Ltd (AIFFI), and for a number of years prior, she was a Casual Academic at the University of Technology, Sydney for a wide range of Chemistry and Forensic Science subjects.
Sonia graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science from UTS in 2009. Her honours project was on FTIR chemical imaging of fingerprints developed with novel cyanoacrylates specifically on difficult surfaces. Sonia also holds a BSc (Advanced) from University of Sydney and a BComm in Accounting from Macquarie University. Prior to commencing her Forensic Science studies, she worked as an Accountant in the Insolvency industry for KPMG and McGrathNicol and worked on administrations such as the HIH Insurance and Pan Pharmaceuticals liquidations.
Philip is a senior lecturer with the Centre for Forensic Science at the University Technology, Sydney. He teaches the Crime Scene Investigation, Chemical Criminalistics and Fire and Explosives subjects at UTS, as well as supporting the other forensic subjects. Philip graduated from the University of Sydney in 1992 with a PhD in chemistry, and entered the forensic world in 1995 when he was employed in the Physical Evidence Section at the Division of Analytical Laboratories (FASS). His casework experience includes flammable liquids, explosives, paint, fibres and glass analysis. Philip joined UTS in 1998 as the scientific officer responsible for the forensic laboratories, and became a lecturer in 2003. He spends his time outside of work climbing mountains, sliding down mountains, and crawling underneath mountains.
Waseem Hermiz comes from the land of the long white cloud or as everyone else calls it New Zealand. He completed his Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) in 2003 from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ and later went on to complete his Master of Science (in biological sciences) in 2009 from the University of Auckland, NZ. His thesis title is “Exploring the potential of seminal mRNA in the forensic investigation of sexual crime”. Waseem has worked in multiple forensic laboratories including in forensic biology at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR) in Auckland, New Zealand for more than six and a half years. He moved to Canberra, ACT to work at both the National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS) and with the University of Canberra for two 3.5 month stints over 2009 and 2010. He worked in Canberra as a forensic trainer and lecturer in the Iraqi Police Service Training (IPST) project which trained Iraqi Police forensic scientists both in the biological and chemical criminalistics areas.
In 2011, Waseem joined the Forensic Services Group (FSG) part of the NSW Police Force at the Pemulwuy forensic laboratory. Since 2012, he has been working as a forensic biologist at the NSW Health Pathology Forensic and Analytical Science Service (FASS) formerly called DAL. Research interests are messenger RNA use in forensics and low copy number (LCN) casework.
Mr Eric Murray is a semi-retired Nurse Unit Manager with the Forensic Unit in Corrections Health. His career in nursing commenced in 1956 and has covered all aspects and positions including Director of Nursing of some large areas. His major role outside of supervision of the general and mental health status of people is to train and assist nurses to prepare documentation and to give evidence to courts and tribunals. Eric studied chemistry / science whilst doing Occupational Health and Industrial Safety at a large chemical plant, and has had the experience of being involved in the rescue phases of disasters such as the Granville train wreck, Newcastle earthquake, and various cyclone disturbances. He has also assisted in people profiling and incident reconstruction. Eric is actively involved in voluntary community work. For his many services to the Society over the years, Eric was made a life member of the ANZFSS in November 2011.
Scott completed his undergraduate degree BSc Applied Chemistry Forensic Science (Hons) in 2009 and completed his PhD at UTS in 2013. His research focused on fingermark detection techniques in the near-infrared region, which involved developing new reagents for developing fingermarks on difficult surfaces, where conventional techniques are unsuccessful. Scott has presented his research at numerous international forensic conferences.
During his studies, Scott also worked as a casual academic at UTS where he assisted in the practical classes for subjects such as Chemical Criminalistics, Crime Scene Investigation and Physical Evidence. Currently, Scott is employed part-time as a lecturer at UTS teaching first year chemistry.
Dr Greta Frankham completed her BSc (Hons) in Zoology at the University of Melbourne in 2006 and PhD at the same institution in 2012. Her academic research has focused on the population genetics and molecular evolution of threatened Australian marsupial species.
Since joining the team at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum Research Institute in 2011, Greta has used this background to move into the field of DNA-based wildlife forensics. Greta was part of the team that helped establish the ACWG as one of the first NATA accredited DNA-based wildlife forensics labs in Australia. This lab now serves a wide range of government agencies in investigating cases involving ivory, shark fins, rhino horns, smuggled bird embryos, the trade in CITES listed species, traditional medicines and food substitution to name a few. The lab provides DNA-based evidence for some of these cases to result in prosecution.
Dr Jodie Ward is the Team Leader of the Specialist DNA Laboratory at the NSW Forensic & Analytical Science Service. This NATA accredited laboratory offers mitochondrial DNA testing for forensic casework applications. Prior to this role, Jodie was the Team Leader of the Mitochondrial DNA Unit at the NSW Police Force and a Forensic Biologist at the Australian Federal Police.
Jodie has completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) specialising in Botany and Zoology and a PhD in the field of Forensic Molecular Biology/Forensic Botany from the Australian National University. Her Honours and PhD research involved the development of a DNA-based identification system for botanical evidence.
Jodie is also a Forensic Biology Lecturer for the National Centre for Forensic Studies and Research Supervisor of a number of undergraduate and postgraduate student projects. Jodie’s current research interests include massively parallel sequencing applications to forensic casework, mitochondrial DNA applications to forensic casework, DNA identification of compromised human remains, optimisation of DNA recovery from compromised samples and DNA-based forensic intelligence (ancestry/ phenotype prediction).
Jodie was awarded a 2015 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to investigate specialist DNA techniques for the identification of compromised human remains.
Jodie has been an ANZFSS member since 2002 and a NSW Branch Committee member since 2015.
David Bruce started his scientific career in 1979 as a Technical Officer in a Haematology Department in Newcastle. After a year perfecting the art of blood smear making, he steadily progressed to the position of Team leader at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney in the 1980s. During this time he witnessed a very early PCR, consisting of three waterbaths, a stopwatch and a newspaper (to pass away the time between waterbath changes!) and thought ‘this will never catch on!’. There followed a five and a half year stint as a research assistant at Cambridge University, UK, where he completed a PhD. Returning to Australia in the mid-nineties he worked in research roles in the area of Cardiology until he finally found his niche and spiritual home in Forensic Science. He has been happily ensconced in the Forensic Biology Department of NSW FASS ever since, where he intends to remain until forcibly removed. An aspiring musician in his spare time (for which no accolades exist unfortunately) he was a member of the Kegworth primary school parent band ‘Innerwestlife’. He is also learning to play the banjo which gives him a strange inner peace. (a sentiment unfortunately not shared by his family or neighbours).
Ms Rolanda Lam is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and joined the Australian Research Council linkage project entitled “Universal Immunogenic Reagents for the Detection of Latent Fingermarks”. Prior to UTS, Rolanda earned her Honours BSc in Forensic Science and Chemistry from the University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada. Shortly after, she was employed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the National Division Forensic Identification Services.
After over 5.5 years working on operational files with the RCMP, Rolanda decided to take an educational leave to pursue doctoral studies. She has already started to build her research dossier/profile with multiple publications, including two (one sole authorship) describing the recommended protocols for fingermark detection and enhancement on Canadian polymer banknotes, and numerous presentations at national and international conferences. At UTS, Rolanda is a casual academic for various forensic subjects (Principles of Forensic Science, Physical Evidence, Chemical Criminalistics, and Introduction to Forensic Science), a co-supervisor on fingerprint research projects (Honours, Masters), and a forensic workshop presenter with the UTS:Faculty of Science Outreach and Promotions team.
Wendy is currently the Operations Manager of the Australian Forensic Drug Laboratory, a business unit of the Australian National Measurement Institute (NMI). Wendy has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Food and Drug Analysis from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Applied Science degree from the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to taking up her current position at NMI in 2010, Wendy was a Senior Forensic Scientist with the NSW State Drugs Laboratory at the Division of Analytical Laboratories (DAL) since 1998, and before that a Senior Analyst for 10 years (1988-97) in the Pesticide Residues Laboratory of DAL. Wendy has also worked for the NSW Police; she left DAL for 18 months during 2003 – 2005 to join the police as a Forensic Chemist carrying out investigations of illicit drug manufacture at clandestine laboratories
Amanda works as a Crime Scene Officer (CSO) within the Fingerprint Operations branch at New South Wales Police Force Forensic Services Group. As a CSO her primary role is to identify and examine fingerprint evidence for its preparation and presentation in court. She graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Forensic Investigation) in 2010 through the Canberra Institute of Technology, before continuing her studies to complete a Masters of Forensic Studies in Forensic Science through the University of Canberra in 2015.
Prior to becoming a CSO, Amanda was working as a Facial Comparison Analyst for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) at the National Office in Canberra. Between 2012 and 2016 she was the Student Liaison Officer for the ANZFSS ACT branch before moving to NSW.
This page last updated 19th December 2016