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Born in Melbourne 1933, The Hon. Professor John Harber Phillips AC QC studied law at Melbourne University, graduating in 1957. He was admitted to the bar in 1957 and appointed to the Queens Council in 1975.
Throughout his distinguished career, The Hon. Professor Phillips held many important positions including the first Director of Public Prosecutions in Victoria, Chairman of the National Crime Authority and was Chairman of the NIFS Board from 1992 until his passing on 7 August 2009.
The Hon. Professor Phillips had a distinguished professional career in law. In 1998 he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to law, law reform, literature and visual arts.
A dedicated family man, reformer, humanitarian and staunch advocate for the establishment of NIFS, the Hon. Professor Phillips had a lifelong interest in the forensic sciences that has had a lasting impact in Australia and abroad.
As such, in 2009, NIFS decided to create the John Harber Phillips Award in recognition of his achievements. The Award is a prestigious peer recognition award and is awarded to an individual who has provided outstanding contributions to the advancement of forensic sciences in Australia and New Zealand.