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Jodie Ward

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: New South Wales Science > Forensic
To investigate specialist DNA techniques for the identification of compromised human remains - USA, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina


1) The establishment of an Australian DNA identification program should be made a national priority, be coordinated by the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC), and will require support, funding and convening of expertise from relevant policing, government, legal and forensic agencies.

2) A Missing Persons Centre of Specialisation should be established for dedicated processing of UHR and MP casework in Australia; but in the short-term, DNA testing of backlogged UHR cases could be outsourced to an international DNA laboratory that specialises in MP casework.

3) Government funding will need to be secured to support the DNA identification program.

4) Forensic Pathologist/s, Anthropologist/s and/or Odontologist/s should examine all UHR prior to DNA testing.

5) Allmetadata for existing UHR and MPcases should be catalogued on the National Missing Persons and Victim System.

6) The NMPCC should facilitate a campaign to obtain reference samples from all long-term MP or their relatives for comparisons with DNA profiles from all UHR.

7) All genetic data (new and existing) should be submitted to the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD) for national DNA matching; and INTERPOL for international DNAmatching as appropriate.

8) Direct and kinship matching should be performed using the Bonaparte software integrated in the NCIDD capability and any DNA match reports issued to relevant authorities.

9) Relevant legislation should be reviewed and/or amended to permit testing of UHR, MP or MP relative samples with new DNA technologies to aid identifications.

10) MPS has the potential to decrease DNA testing costs and labour; and increase throughput and the genetic information obtained. 

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