Dr Maurice Wallin, later to be Associate Professor Wallin at Griffith University, was the founding President of the Australasian College of Legal Medicine (ACLM). Together with Dr Maura McGill, a then partner at Clayton Utz Law Firm, and Dr Noel McCleave, a forensic physician in Adelaide, the College was inaugurated in November 1995. Since that time the College has grown to become a well-respected and internationally recognised body with a particular focus on the interface between medicine and law.
Dr Wallin hailed from the Ballarat/Bendigo region of Victoria and tried a number fields of medicine before settling on the interface of medicine and law and legal medicine. He enrolled in Duntroon and considered a career in the Military but realised that this was not for him and then considered a career as a radiologist, which he likewise rejected before adding the study of law to his MBBS qualification as a doctor.
Together with Justices Williams and Abadee and others, Dr Wallin created the Expert Witness Institute of Australia, mirroring a similar body in the UK and serving in conjunction with the activities of the then Australian, later to become the Australasian College of Legal Medicine. While the Institute no longer exists, the College continues to go from strength to strength.
Dr Wallin was a man of vision and had the energy to push for courses to be run by the College, which have stood the test of time. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, they continue to be oversubscribed and demonstrate a national and international success, attracting people from as far away as the United States, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. These courses include the Expert Witness Training Course, and the Basic and Advanced Law Intensives, and the College gives due credit to Dr Wallin for his role in instigating these courses.
More recently, due to health reasons, Dr Wallin is no longer able to contribute to the College but he remains an absolute gentleman, a friend to all who know him and someone to be greatly respected. One cannot think of Maurice Wallin without feeling an inner warmth, which he always projected and continues to project, even if his capacity to contribute is no longer what it once was.
Dr Wallin was the first person, within the Australasian College of Legal Medicine, to be acknowledged with an Honorary Life Fellowship, in recognition of his great contribution to the College, being both its founding President and having established the College on such a sound foundation. He was further honoured by being the only ever recipient of the Noel McCleave Medal which the College provided both in honour of Dr Wallin’s contribution and also to recognise the role played by Dr McCleave as one of the founding fellows and architects of the College. The Medal was bestowed on Dr Wallin by Noel’s widow with the anticipation that the Medal would demonstrate the respect that the College had for both of these ‘founding fathers’.
By Professor Roy Beran, ACLM Council Member