I work at the police labs in Sydney, primarily handling drug offence related evidence with the Evidence Recovery Unit. I work alongside police and other civilian officers processing exhibits for DNA and fingerprints, as well as conducting preliminary drug identification. There are a good number of UTS graduates amongst my colleagues and throughout the Forensic Services Group—I seem to be bumping into people I used to know at university all the time.
How did you get to your current role?
My science career began in 2005 when I became involved with Education Interactive (EI)—a science communication company whose core business is to develop and present hands-on forensics workshops for students that educate and entertain. First I was a workshop presenter, then programme developer, before becoming the business manager. Science communication is an increasingly important field, and people who can act as the bridge between the sometimes complex world of science and the public have great opportunities in many workplaces.
A couple of years later, after a short stint in Crime Scene with the NSW Police, I took to presenting again, this time in Ireland & the UK as EI expanded its reach overseas. I got to spend another year on the road, this time being effectively paid to travel Europe. It was a life changing experience getting to talk about the science I love to a new audience every day.
In late 2015 I returned to work for the NSW Police Force.
Do you find the skills you learnt during your degree useful and versatile? If so how?
My course at UTS Science gave me a good grounding in a wide variety of forensic disciplines, allowing me to explain concepts accurately and on a level the students would appreciate.
The highly practical and hands-on nature of my degree at UTS prepared me well for both the crime scene and laboratory environments I now find myself in, and I’m loving being back in ‘real’ forensics with the Forensic Services Group.