The Allan Hodda Memorial Award

2020 Allan Hodda Memorial Award recipient: Matthew Bolton

The recipient of the 2020 Allan Hodda Memorial Award, Matthew Bolton is a firearms examiner based in NSW. Depending on international travel restrictions, Matthew will be travelling to the United States or New Zealand to study the lessons learned from various aspects of mass-shooting incidents. If international travel is not possible, Matthew will be undertaking the study as a desktop exercise.

2021 Applications will open in September 2021. Criteria and conditions are provided below.

To access the application form: right-click here and select ‘Save link as…’ to download the file to your computer. Find the location to which the file has been downloaded and open the file to Adobe Acrobat Reader from there. Note also that the edited PDF form cannot be saved for further editing, so ensure you have gathered all the information you need for the application before you begin work on it. You will have to print (to PDF or hardcopy) in order to save and submit the form.

Completed applications must be emailed to the ANZFSS Secretary at

The 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 bestowed 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 funding available for the Allan Hodda Memorial Award will be up to the value of $5,000 (AUD). Further funding to cover full registration and reasonable expenses to attend the next ANZFSS Symposium up to $2,000 (AUD) will also be provided. Any expense incurred over the Award amount will be covered by the applicant. Any funding not accounted for will be repaid to the Society.

The selection criteria are not limited to but will include the following;

  • the nature and value of the forensic meeting, facility visited or educational institution attended,
  • the likely benefit to the applicant, their organisation and the ANZFSS community,
  • local Branch commitment,
  • the quality of the application and the reasons for the travel, and
  • a release from your supervisor or organisation, if appropriate, to attend the proposed destination.

The ANZFSS Council will consider the applications (made on the official application form) and the successful applicant will be notified before the end of the calendar year. Note that the PDF application form may not open directly in your web browser when you click on the link. If this is the case, download the file then find the location on your computer to which the file has been downloaded and open the file to Adobe Reader from there. Note also that the edited PDF form cannot be saved for further editing, you will have to print (to PDF or hardcopy) in order to return.


The Allan Hodda Memorial Award will be offered to Professional, General, Life and Student members of ANZFSS Inc who have been continuous members for at least two financial years. Applicants must complete the application form provided and address all selection criteria.

The recipient will consent to the use of their imagery by the Society in its publications and/or marketing activities.

The applicant must complete the proposed travel within one year of the announcement of the successful award recipient.

After completion of travel, the recipient must provide a written report to the ANZFSS Council that contains:

  • an executive summary;
  • an actual itinerary;
  • a diary of events attended and/or the outcome for each day;
  • a conclusion outlining the benefits to the recipient, their organisation and the forensic science community in general;
  • a detailed financial summary showing how the Award was expended, including copies of receipts and

The recipient must also prepare an oral presentation about the aims and outcomes of the travel and apply to present at the next ANZFSS Symposium (to be accepted at the discretion of the organising committee). The recipient shall acknowledge the Award and the support provided by the Society in any publication, article or presentation that results from information gained. Award recipients are responsible for managing all of their own booking and travel requirements, including medical and travel insurance. All further conditions attached to the Award must be acquitted within one year of the announcement.

Past winners

2019: Dr Nicola Beckett, a Chemist and Research Officer at ChemCentre. Nicola was to travel to the USA and Brazil in 2020 to continue her work and expand her skills in the area of proteomic analysis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed her travel plans.

2018: Linda Jones, a forensic document examiner from the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department. In 2019, Linda travelled to the USA to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, and to Portugal to attend the biennial meeting of the European Network of Forensic Handwriting Experts. While away, she also visited laboratories around North America and Europe to share and discuss issues around human factors, evidence evaluation and reporting, and best practice in forensic document examination. A summary of Linda’s experiences can be found here.

2017: Dr SallyAnn Harbison, a DNA specialist from ESR, NZ. SallyAnn travelled to London and Amsterdam in May 2018 to learn more about the practical applications of massively parallel sequencing in forensic science (including the development of quality standards), next-generation sequencing technology, and current developments/future research in mRNA typing for body fluid ID in routine casework. SallyAnn’s full report can be found here.

2016: Dr Greta Frankham, a post doctoral researcher at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics. Greta travelled to Europe in 2017 to attend the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science meeting and visit colleagues in other wildlife forensics laboratories.

2015: Natasha Mitchell, a DNA specialist from Forensic Science South Australia.  Natasha travelled 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. Her report can be accessed here.

2014: 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.

2013: Sergeant Gerard Dutton, a firearms and tool marks 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.

2012: 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.

2011: 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.

2010: 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.

2008: 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.

2007: 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.