Asia Pacific Coroners Society Conference 2014
Catherine Follent, CSO Assistant Crown Solicitor
Five members of the Inquiries Practice Group attended this year's Asia Pacific Coroners Society Conference in Melbourne from 11-14 November 2014. The theme of the conference was "Asking the right questions". There were a number of very interesting presentations given by lawyers, policy analysts and medical practitioners, with subject matter cutting across a range of disciplines. Highlights included a presentation by a leading Victoria Police Homicide Squad detective who discussed the forensic investigation into the death of Linda Stilwell, a seven year-old girl who disappeared from St Kilda in 1968 and was recently found by Victorian Deputy State Coroner Iain West to have been murdered by infamous child killer Derek Percy; a panel discussion on emerging trends in prescription medication death involving takeaway methadone, opiods and benzodiazepines; a presentation on the frequency of suicide deaths in middle aged men; and a talk by Melbourne crime writer and journalist John Silvester on his documentary "Trigger Point", which considers a number of deaths in police custody involving interviews with police officers and victims' families. The consensus amongst conference delegates was that this years's conference was quite outstanding in terms of the quality of the speakers and the relevance of topic areas to those involved in the coronial process.