The Institute’s international engagement is almost as old as the organisation itself. Our international training work, humanitarian response activities and capacity development work has made a central contribution to VIFM's sound reputation for forensic medical and scientific services, teaching and research. Since the early 1990s, VIFM has hosted 25 Sri Lankan forensic doctors for periods of at least 12 months training.
The Institute’s work is based on service, teaching and research, with each informing and strengthening the other. The VIFM derives substantial tangible and intangible benefits from its strong international program. International activity underpins the VIFM’s reputation as a leader in forensic medicine and forensic science. Working with colleagues around the world in our small and highly specialised disciplines ensures that we maintain our expertise. It also highlights the Institute as an employer of choice in the market for globally-scarce forensic medical and scientific expertise upon which we rely.
VIFM professional staff have deployed to disasters or provided specialist forensic medical services to Indonesia, East Timor, Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific (Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Nauru), New Zealand, Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia, DRC Congo, Iraq, Myanmar and the Philippines. The Institute has particular expertise in Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) and management of the dead in disasters.
Forensic Medical Training
The VIFM provides training in aspects of medico-legal death investigation (forensic pathology) and in the medico-legal investigation of interpersonal violence, including sexual violence (clinical forensic medicine). We train doctors in how to undertake forensic medical examinations, gather and record evidence, medico-legal report writing and how to appear as expert witnesses in court. In hosting international trainees, the VIFM has trained doctors in Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Namibia), the Middle East (Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates), Asia (India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia) and the Pacific Region (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Kiribati).
VIFM partners with leading global organisations to plan for and deliver international humanitarian responses, death and sexual violence investigations, and capacity development through teaching, service planning and development. These organisations include:
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
World Health Organisation (WHO)
International Criminal Court (ICC)
Asia Pacific Medico-Legal Agencies (APMLA)
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Australian Federal Police (AFP).