State-of-the-Art Forensic Institute and Court Rooms Open in Melbourne

August 29th 2014

Media Release                 August 29, 2014

State-of-the-Art Forensic Institute and Court Rooms Open in Melbourne

Victoria’s re-developed, state-of-the-art coroners courts and Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine together make up a world-class facility and a centre of excellence in clinical forensic medicine expertise, death investigation and tissue banking, according to Attorney-General Robert Clark.


The $92.7 million complex, re-built on its original site at 65 Kavanagh St, Southbank comprises three new coronial court rooms, coroner’s chambers, a refurbished mortuary, two new homicide rooms, a clinical forensic medicine department and re-developed toxicology, molecular biology and histopathology laboratories. The new Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria is still under construction and is expected to open next year.


From its inception 26 years ago, the Institute has grown to achieve an international reputation with its services at home and abroad.
State Coroner Judge Ian Gray said the centre provides Victorians a complete coronial investigation process and a new and modern opportunity for both forensics and law to work in tandem.


“Most people will never have to approach a court but for those who do, we hope to give peace of mind, answers and closure to families. With the opening of our new building this commitment is even stronger,” he said.


“This centre ensures a more efficient coronial system.”


Recently appointed director of the Institute Professor Noel Woodford said the centre is a place where values and a mission to serve the community find a dignified and empathetic expression.


“The years have seen this place evolve into a large, complex, multifaceted organisation. Forensic Medicine, as practiced here, is of course pathology, but it’s also clinical forensic medicine and radiology. It’s the sciences and research. It is tissue donation and work for death and injury prevention. It’s learning from all these things and applying that knowledge and expertise in the service of the courts and justice system, treating clinicians, and most especially to families and the Victorian community,” he said.


“It’s the cycle of service, teaching and research which drives us and finds application both at home and abroad. Our expertise in Human Identification allowed us to successfully identify Ned Kelly’s remains, and bring closure for families in the wake of the Black Saturday Bushfires. It’s seen us deployed to the scenes of mass tragedies around the globe- Kosovo , Bali, Thailand, Timor and most recently Holland and Liberia. In turn the lessons we learn from our engagement in this work are applied right here at home.”


“Our co-location with the Coroners Court of Victoria means that we work collaboratively to find the truth and provide answers. Every day our new and purpose built CAE Office sees coroners and pathologists meeting and deliberating, and families counselled and consoled. This new facility allows us to meet with families to discuss our findings and their consequences in appropriately comforting surrounds at what is often the most emotionally difficult of times.” Professor Woodford said.


Media information: Deb Withers 0417 398448 or