Celebrating the best of Forensic Science SA

Scientists who spent over 100 hours processing and analysing materials found at a series of clandestine drug labs and staff who’ve brought their knowledge of forensic toxicology to the world are among those recognised at the annual Ross Vining Memorial Forensic Science SA Awards Ceremony.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman presented the Awards – named after the former Director of Forensic Science SA – at a ceremony at the Science Exchange in Adelaide yesterday.

“These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Forensic Science SA and I’m pleased to be able to acknowledge the work of our dedicated scientists who are raising the bar both in terms of their work in the field and their service to the broader community,” Ms Chapman said.

“This year, we’ve celebrated the work of Peter Stockham and Tim Scott, who’ve shared their love of forensic toxicology with the world through their ToxPod Podcast – which has attracted more than 2000 listeners from around the world.

“We’ve recognised the dedication of Dr Ellie Simpson, who, as the forensic anthropologist, worked with the SA Museum and Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation to identify and return skeletal remains to Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation for return to country.

“And we’ve paid tribute to the work of team members from the Illicit Drugs Group who spent more than three weeks and one hundred hours processing three clandestine drug labs around the state, followed by countless hours of laboratory time analyzing the seized materials.

“Each of this year’s award winners has made a tremendous contribution, and I congratulate them all and commend them for their ongoing dedication,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

This year’s Award recipients are:

Foundation Award: Denise Ward, for her work on important validation projects that have delivered operational benefits to Forensic Science SA’s Biology Team.

Customer Service/Public Relations Award: Ellie Simpson for her work with the SA Museum and Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation in the review of skeletal remains, which has resulted in unprovenanced remains being returned to the SA Museum for storage and provenanced remains to Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation for return to Country.

Professor Hilton Kobus Research Award: Stephen Trobbiani for his Forensic and Clinical Toxicology Association (FACTA) presentation describing his ground-breaking research into doubly-charged ions formed during electrospray ionisation and their impact on the linear response of over 420 drugs and metabolites of interest to Toxicology.

Justice Ted Mullighan Outstanding Case Award: The Illicit Drugs Group for their work processing at 3 large and extremely complex clandestine drug laboratories, followed by countless hours of laboratory time analyzing the seized materials.

Special Award: Peter Stockham and Tim Scott for the ToxPod podcast, which is helping engage people in Toxicology and projecting Forensic Science SA onto the international stage.

Ross Vining Staff Development Scholarship: Denise Ward, to improve technical understanding and report on the operational capabilities and limitations of rapid DNA instruments in use in international forensic laboratories.