Alumni Update | Issue Six 2014

Evidence-gathering app attracts Pank Prize

UniSA Foundation awards $400,000 in scholarships and prizes in 2014

Tung Tran, Susan Hunt and Jerome Lienert at 2014 Scholarships and Grants Ceremony at UniSA
Scholarships and awards totalling nearly $400,000 were awarded to 117 students at the University’s 2014 Scholarships and Grants Ceremony held
on 4 June.

Ten new scholarships and grants were awarded at the Ceremony, hosted by Nigel Relph, UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor.
“The University is very grateful for the ongoing support of our donors and partners – the list of our valued partners has grown substantially over the years, and without their support, these awards and the doors they open would not be possible,” Mr Relph said.

Evidence-gathering application may help to speed up convictions
Among the awards presented at the ceremony was the $15,000 Pank/University of South Australia School of Management Prize for Entrepreneurships.

The prize was awarded to two South Australian policemen, whose new software project will redefine traditional evidence collection processes and court brief presentations.

The ‘myEvidence’ software is the brainchild of Senior Constable Tung Tran, a UniSA Bachelor of Commerce graduate, and his business partner Senior Constable Jerome Lienert.

It uses mobile technology to archive electronic evidence – including photographs, notes, statements and interview records – into a centralised desktop, allowing investigators to review their whole case on one screen at the touch of a button.

“It will help speed up convictions by giving investigators the comprehensive all-in-one software to compile their brief at the time they begin the investigation,” says Tung.

“Most of the time, defendants don’t plead guilty and a case drags on longer than it should because not all the evidence is made readily available… this (software) will mean that at a defendant’s first appearance in court, most of the evidence is there, which lets them and their representation make a judgement and enter into an early plea.”

While Tung had long recognised the need for this product, it was a life changing personal experience that sparked the development of myEvidence. In 2010 Tung and a colleague were ambushed and shot with a semi-automatic assault rifle while on duty and spent months recovering from the ordeal.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions decided that attempted murder charges should be downgraded because they didn’t think we could get a successful conviction in court; I was disappointed, of course,” Tung said.

“It’s a combination of the idea that evidence could be presented better for prosecutors to understand, and this trial where I was a victim in police capacity, that had led to these ideas.

“There have been occasions where as part of my duties we go to court and some things were overlooked, or weren’t recorded down at the time, which become a contentious issue and we lose.”

Tung describes creating the software platform as a “mammoth task” which compelled him to enlist the help of his mentor and friend, Senior Constable Lienert – a veteran police officer with over 12 years’ experience, and a former member of the Australian Federal Police’s Operations Response Group.

Tung has also brought former classmate Sam Trezise and his team from Limesquare on board to help develop myEvidence to minimal viable product (MVP) stage, using the Pank Prize money.

“The cost of the project to develop the full investigative suit is approximately $120,000,” Tung says.

“We have engaged with the SA Police Department who will beta test the product, scrutinise it and hopefully run a trial… hopefully when his occurs, we can use SA Police as a customer base to seek out further investment.”

The software potentially has a wide range of applications in many areas of the private and public sector, including for security professionals, intelligence officers, fire investigators, bankers and auditors.

The University extends a warm thank you to its valued supporters, for believing in outstanding scholarship and breaking down barriers to reward it. We welcome enquiries about how you or your organisation can invest in the futures of our students.

For information about all current scholarships and grants visit the University of South Australia's scholarships website.

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