The Allan Hodda Memorial Award

Allan was a well-known and respected scientist and individual. He was instrumental to the development of the NSW Branch of the ANZFSS, being over the years its President, Vice-President, Secretary, Public Officer and Life-Member. In 2004, he received the National President’s Medal for his services to the Society. For many years Allan was a forensic toxicologist at the Division of Analytical Laboratories in Sydney. His professional credentials and focus on quality and integrity were greatly appreciated by the forensic science community, as demonstrated by his various executive memberships, including on the Panel of Advisers of the National Institute of Forensic Science and on NATA’s Forensic Registration Advisory Committee. His dedication to training and education were also shown by his organisation of the annual ANZFSS (NSW Branch) seminar ‘Inside the Forensic World’ and his association with the University of Technology, Sydney. Allan was a true gentleman and possessed a very fine sense of humour.

The Allan Hodda Memorial Award will be offered each year to allow a member of the ANZFSS to travel to any destination to further their own study, attend a notable forensic meeting or visit a laboratory of their choice.   The Award will be bewstowed upon the applicant who can best demonstrate how they will benefit from this opportunity both personally and professionally.  Other reasons for travel, in accordance with the intent of the Award, will be considered.  Recipients of the Award will be required to complete their travel within one year or prior to the next ANZFSS Symposium, and be available to present at that Symposium.

The ANZFSS Executive is pleased to announce the Allan Hodda Award recipient for 2016, Dr Greta Frankham (Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics). In 2017, Dr Frankham will be travelling to the UK/Europe to attend the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science meeting and visit colleagues in other wildlife forensics laboratories.

Past winners are:


Natasha Mitchell, a DNA specialist from Forensic Science South Australia.  Natasha traveled to the USA during 2016 to visit a number of laboratories and research institutions and to attend the International Symposium of Human Identification in Minneapolis.


Caroline Gibb, a fingerprint expert from the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department.  In 2015, Caroline visited fingerprint colleagues in the Netherlands and Switzerland, and attended the EAFS conference in the Czech Republic.


Sergeant Gerard Dutton, a firearms and toolmarks expert in Tasmania Police Forensic Services. In 2014, Gerard attended the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) annual meeting of the Firearms/GSR Working Group, along with visiting relevant forensic laboratories in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.


Dr Runa Daniel, a forensic geneticist at the Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre.  In early 2013 Dr Daniel visited a variety of molecular laboratories in the USA and Spain to strengthen her expertise in DNA-based intelligence tools.


Dr Robyn Somerville, an expert in the forensic analysis of illicit drugs at ESR in New Zealand.  During 2012, Dr Somerville  attended the European Academy of Forensic Science meeting in the Netherlands, followed by a series of visits to forensic drug laboratories in Europe and the UK.  A highlight was a visit to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.


Sarah Donnelly, previously a forensic officer in Victoria Police Forensic Services.  Sarah travelled to The Hague in the Netherlands, where she undertook a Visiting Professional Placement with the Investigation Division of the International Criminal Court.  She has since taken up a position with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.


Sheree Hughes-Stamm, a senior teaching fellow and PhD researcher at Bond University.  Sheree travelled to the 6th International Society of Applied Biological Sciences Conference in Croatia and visited the International Centre on Missing Persons in Sarajevo, The University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the University of North Texas.  During her travels, Sheree enhanced her knowledge in relation to forensic anthropology and the DNA identification of degraded samples.


Duncan McCarthy, a fingerprint officer from the Queensland Police Service.  Duncan travelled to the Seventh International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He also visited the Federal Office of Police in Berne, Switzerland to research digital and nano-techniques relating to fingerprint technology.