The Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship


Ian (Sandy) Congdon joined the South Australia Police as a Cadet on 2 January 1964 and graduated from the Police Academy on 22 September 1966.  After service as a patrol officer he joined the Coroner’s Office in August 1968 and subsequently the (then) Forensic Science Laboratory in November 1972.

Sandy quickly found his niche in the field of forensic science and developed a reputation for thoroughness and his ability to think ‘outside the square’.  In addition to crime scene investigation, he developed skills in the comparison of shoemarks and toolmarks and undertook training as a bomb technician.  He was involved in many of the major murder investigations of this time, including the Truro murders, and was highly regarded as an ‘expert’ witness.

His desire for knowledge and personal development were typified by the fact that he undertook adult Matriculation while working full-time and with a young family, and he then continued his studies to gain a Science Technician’s Certificate in 1975 and an Associate Diploma in Business (Justice Administration) in 1987.

He transferred from the Technical (now Forensic) Services Branch in October 1986 in order to gain operational experience prior to being promoted as a commissioned officer at the rank of Inspector in April 1987.  He then returned to Technical Services as the inaugural Operations Inspector in February 1988.

Sandy had an ability to relate to people at all levels and his confidence and enthusiasm endeared him to those with whom he came into contact.  While being very conscientious about his work and family, he possessed a larrikin streak which partially stemmed from his days as a surf lifesaver.  He possessed natural leadership skills which enabled him to easily make the transition from a ‘worker’ to manager.  The knowledge and skills he had gained as a forensic science practitioner, along with his enthusiasm for forensic science, his intelligence and common sense, ensured that he was able to gain the confidence and loyalty of his staff.

Tragically, his dream of becoming the Officer in Charge of Technical Services, and of being able to contribute to policing and forensic science at this level, did not eventuate.  In November 1988 he experienced an initial seizure which was later diagnosed as being caused by an astrocytoma (brain tumour).  In July 1989 he was medically cleared but had a recurrence in early 1990 and found that his left side and speech were affected.

His condition deteriorated to a point where he was required to take leave and then retire on 30 May, 1990.  In the meantime he was an inspiration to his family and friends as he undertook conventional and alternative treatments and continued to be positive about his future and considerate of others.  He succumbed to his illness in December 1990 at the age of 44 years.

Sandy Condgon loved life and left a legacy of commitment, enthusiasm and compassion and made a major contribution to the development of forensic science in South Australia.

In memory of Sandy and his outstanding contribution to Forensic Science in South Australia, the South Australian Branch of ANZFSS will provide one full scholarship to the immediately forthcoming ANZFSS Symposium to an application deemed worthy and meritorious in accordance with the qualifying criteria.

Award Assessment Sub-Committee

The SA Branch will appoint an Awards Assessment Sub-Committee (the “Sub-Committee”), to assess all applications received for that forthcoming symposium from local ANZFSS members.  This Sub-Committee will comprise of at least three (3) SA Branch committee or executive members, none of whom shall have, or be party to, an application for Travel Award for that symposium year.  In the event that all Committee and Executive members have an interest in applications for that year, a ballot will be conducted of the full Committee to select a Sub-Committee of no less than three (3) members.

The Sub-Committee will rate all applications against the assessment scale used for National ANZFSS Travel Awards.

The Award Assessment Sub-Committee shall act honestly, ethically and without favour or prejudice in accordance with the Code of Ethics for ANZFSS.


Applications are to be submitted as per the requirements for National Travel Awards, on the official application form.  They are to be submitted to the specified returning officer by the due date.  Late applications will not be accepted.

From these applications received, the Awards Sub-committee has the discretion to award one of the applicants a full scholarship as outlined in this document.  If the selected applicant has been awarded a partial National Travel Award for the same year,  the Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship may be a top-up in addition to the partial National Award.

An individual may be the recipient of the Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship more than once, providing that two conferences have passed between the presenting of the awards.

The applicant awarded the Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship shall present their poster or oral presentation at a nominated meeting of the local ANZFSS Branch, either prior to, or subsequent to, the Symposium.

The granting of this scholarship is subject to the application being of sufficient merit and worthiness to pay the due respect to the memory and dedication of Sandy Congdon.

In the event that applications are of insufficient meritorious worth, the Awards Sub-Committee may decide to not award a Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship for that symposium.  This does not preclude all qualifying applications from being eligible for a National ANZFSS Travel Award, or full/partial scholarship offered by the local Branch.

The recipient of the scholarship shall be notified by mail of their successful application and awarding of the scholarship.

Award Assessment Criteria

To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must be current financial members of the SA Branch of ANZFSS.

In utilising the National Travel Award Assessment Criteria, the Awards Sub-Committee shall take the following into particular consideration:

  • The merit and originality of the application, particularly in terms of its likely contribution to the advancement of forensic science;
  • The benefit of the application in relation to the applicant, their organisation, and the symposium;
  • The commitment of the member to local Branch activities and attendance at meetings.

Award Type

The Sandy Congdon Memorial Scholarship shall be a full scholarship, comprising a financial amount as nominated by the SA Branch committee, to cover:

  • Registration at the next ANZFSS Symposium
  • All or the majority of the reasonable cost of airfare and accommodation

The recipient will also receive a certificate presented at a local Branch meeting.

Previous recipients of the Sandy Congdon Award

 Year  Recipient
 2000  Carolyne Bird
 2004  Carolyne Bird
 2008  Julianne Henry
 2010  Stewart Walker
 2012  Darren Bails
 2014  Kerryn Mason
 2016  Jennifer Young
 2018  Danielle Butzbach