On the 50th anniversary of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


In the first issue of the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, the late Oscar Schmalzbach recounted how, in 1961, whilst traveling through London on his way to a Psychiatric Congress in Canada, he held discussions with office holders and leading members of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences 1. And so the idea of an Australian equivalent was planted that was to emerge in 1967 as the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. There were 89 founding members, mainly from the legal and medical professions. The first President was His Honour Mr Justice R. Le Gay Brereton, with the first constitution based on that of the British Academy. In the years to follow, there were many very high profile Presidents but the one constant, most would agree, was the ‘dominant figure’, until his death in 1996, of Oscar Schmalzbach. Oscar was the first Secretary General (a title again adopted from our British colleagues), President from 1967–1976 and 1985–1987 and Editor of the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences (AJFS) from volume 4 through to volume 24 in 1992. His unique contribution to the Academy was recognized when the title ‘Founder’ was conferred on him upon the completion of his second term as President. Oscar also established the Academy research foundation that offers a research fellowship on a biennial basis and supports the holding of symposia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-590
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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