Leading forensic scientist Dr Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM has been appointed as the new Director of Forensic Science SA, making the first time a woman has held the top job in the agency.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said Dr Wilson-Wilde was widely respected in the field and would complement the existing expertise within Forensic Science SA.
“It speaks volumes about Forensic Science SA’s reputation both nationally and internationally that someone of Dr Linzi Wilson-Wilde’s stature has taken on this important leadership role,” Ms Chapman said.
“She is extraordinarily qualified – for the past 12 years, she has been in leading roles with Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency’s National Institute of Forensic Science, the region’s peak body for forensic science.
“Dr Wilson-Wilde has also worked with law enforcement at a state level in New South Wales and Victoria, as well as nationally with the Australian Federal Police.
“She is the President of the International Forensic Strategic Alliance and on the committees of Interpol’s Forensic Science Managers Symposium, as well as the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor Scientific Advisory Board.
“I could not be more pleased we have someone of her stature and expertise to lead Forensic Science SA into the future.”
Ms Chapman said the appointment of a woman as the Director for the first time in Forensic Science SA’s history sends a positive message to younger women working in – or considering studying – STEM subjects.
“At a time when we’re looking to get more girls and women into STEM, the appointment of such a highly qualified woman to this crucial role highlights the important role women play in these fields,” Ms Chapman said.
“Gender should not be a barrier to taking on leading positions in the world of STEM, and I would hope young women look to Dr Wilson-Wilde’s appointment and consider pursuing a career in this field.”
Ms Chapman also paid tribute to outgoing Director Chris Pearman, who retired from the position last month.
“Professor Pearman led Forensic Science SA through a remarkable series of advancements in technology, including the development of the DNA database,” Ms Chapman said.
“He has been an exceptional leader, cementing Forensic Science SA’s reputation as a nation leader, and I wish him all the best in retirement.”
Dr Wilson-Wilde is due to commence at the start of February next year.