VIFM 30th Anniversary Celebration
Having gathered together for a very enjoyable staff celebration of VIFM’s 30th birthday in October (coinciding with the launch of Cordner Hall), Wednesday 5 December, saw us celebrate our birthday in a more formal way in the Coroners Court foyer. It was an honour to welcome former Premier of Victoria John Cain as our guest speaker. Premier Cain was instrumental in establishing the Institute in 1988 on the recommendation of the late Attorney-General, The Hon. Jim Kennan SC, and Chief Justice, The Hon. John Phillips QC, for whom our library is named. Mr Cain spoke with passion about the then spirit of bipartisanship which, along with the drive and vision of John Phillips, Graeme Schofield and Vern Plueckhahn, ensured that the people of Victoria and more broadly would be the beneficiaries of a world-class forensic pathology and science facility.
John Coldrey, the Chair of our Council reflected on our service to the justice system and our work internationally. Stephen Cordner paid tribute to staff, the court and to our stakeholders who have supported our work and ongoing development over the past 30 years. Noel Woodford, the current Director, highlighted where we are today, and how emerging technologies and modern advances will influence our work and our research capacity in the years ahead.
The morning provided the opportunity to officially launch our new website and to provide those in attendance with a ‘teaser’ for our new web series, a co-production with CCoV that will launch early 2019. After the formalities had concluded, we invited the media to visit the molecular biology lab to take a look at our new DNA technology, the Massively Parallel Sequencing machine.
Along with the speeches there was some light entertainment: a video highlighting some of our key achievements, as well as some well-wishes from colleagues near and far who could not be with us on the day. Having so many friends, supporters and colleagues in one room was simply extraordinary. It was fantastic to see people from all stages of our history catch up and reflect on their work together. Our thanks to Acting State Coroner Iain West for allowing us to use the court foyer for the morning, and to those staff who organised the event and helped out on the day. Thank you also to the VIFM staff who came along to help us celebrate.