Forensic students confronted with gruesome reality of working crime scenes

8 August 2013

In a corner of Deakin University’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus an inconspicuous building is set to be the site of some grisly scenes.

The building has been converted into a purpose-built facility to provide Deakin’s forensic science students with a real-life experience of working a crime scene.

The crime scene training facility includes a kitchen, lounge room and bedroom (with a bathroom to be fitted shortly), all ready to be staged with the gruesome elements forensic investigators are confronted with, from body fluids and blood to finger prints and fibres and weapons.

“With this new facility we will add a dose of reality to the skills our students have developed through the forensic science program,” said Dr Xavier Conlan, one of the forensic program leaders.

“We have the flexibility to stage a wide range of crime scenes such as a clandestine drug lab or fatal stabbing. Working the scenarios will provide a holistic experience of what is involved in working a crime scene from the correct way to identify, collect and store evidence, to in the lab analysis and presenting the evidence in court.

“The facility will also be used for crime scene research projects and as part of our secondary student outreach program, the Forensic Detective.”

Watch The Age interview above on the new facility

Guests at the recent opening of the facility were welcomed by a homicide scene that involved a clandestine drug laboratory. The scene had been processed by the ‘investigators’ and gave the visitors a real feel for the atmosphere in a gruesome forensic crime scene.

The facility has been named The Roger Lewis and Michael Liddy Forensic Crime Scene Training Centre, in recognition of two people who have been instrumental in the establishment and running of the program. Lt Col Roger Lewis (OBE) has developed the legal aspect of the program offering up his expertise as a barrister in the British army with a rank of lieutenant colonel. After many years with the Victoria Police Forensic Services Mr Michael Liddy brought his extensive expertise as a forensic chemist which added greatly to the scientific program.

Deakin’s forensic science program is offered at the University’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus and equips graduates for a wide range of careers in areas such as forensics, insurance investigation, risk analysis, research science, government institutions and within chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries.

“Our program is well respected within the forensic science community and our undergraduate students have opportunities to mix with real world forensic practitioners,” said Dr Michelle Harvey, a forensic program leader.

“We train the ultimate problem solvers. They leave us with outstanding analytical skills making them extremely sought after by employers.”

Deakin crime scene facility

PhD student Luke Andrighetto views the 'crime scene' in Deakin's new training facility

Media contact

Mandi O'Garretty
Deakin Media Relations
03 5227 2776; 0418 361 890

15th August 2013