For its 12th Law Week event, Sisters in Crime Australia is joining forces with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University to explore the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to keep society safe – police officers, homicide detectives, paramedics, doctors, forensic scientists, a trauma cleaner – and an author who writes about murders.
Liz Porter, an award winning forensic science writer, will examine what happens behind the scenes with former forensic scientist Maggie Baron, medical writer Venita Munir and retired homicide detective Narelle Fraser.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) does play a part in some of the stories, but dealing with murder has also resulted in alcohol and drug abuse, mental health problems, relationship breakdowns, fear, and hypervigilance in everyday situations.
Maggie Baron is a former forensic scientist who worked in the area of drug and trace evidence analysis for six years. Having to attend a lot of crime scenes left a deep impact – she came to see the world through blood-red glasses. A passionate crime reader, Maggie brings a strong analytical perspective to the craft of writing. She now works in infrastructure and transport planning, and in 2015 became Sisters in Crime’s inaugural President. She has finished her first crime novel featuring a forensics expert and is working on her second.
Venita Munir is a retired Emergency Physician who has hung up the stethoscope in favour of the pen (AKA the laptop). She worked for 16 years in emergency medicine, mostly at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Disillusioned and experiencing personal loss and burnout, Venita decided to study Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. She now works as a medical writer and editor, and advocates for doctors’ health, wellbeing and work–life balance. She is working on two fiction manuscripts, and has published micro-fiction, short stories, rock music reviews and interviews.
Narelle Fraser was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years, 15 of those as a detective with Homicide, Rape, Sex Crimes, Missing Persons, and Child Exploitation Squads. She specialised in sex offences and child abuse and worked on many high-profile investigations. Narelle was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012 and will share with you what, why and how she missed the signs of stress, and how she lost her career due to ignoring those signs. She has become ‘an accidental’ mental health advocate.
Liz Porter is a freelance journalist best known for her prize-winning books Written on the Skin: An Australian forensic casebook (Pan MacMillan, 2006) and Cold Case Files: Past crimes solved by new forensic science (Pan MacMillan, 2007). Her latest book is Crime Scene Asia: When forensic evidence becomes the silent witness (Marshall Cavendish, 2018).
Bookings for this event are essential, so to avoid disappointment book your ticket now!
Doors open at 6pm with the panel discussion commencing at 6.30pm sharp.
$15 / $10 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members/concession
Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $17 / $12
Please note that ticket purchases to this event will incur an Eventbrite processing fee at checkout
Sir Zelman Cowen Centre
Victoria University City Queen Street Campus
Lecture Theatre G02
295 Queen Street
(enter from Little Lonsdale Street)
Carmel Shute 0412 569 356