Pupils witness ‘murder’ at Murdoch

May 8, 2017

Professor Jurgen Brohmer is 'treated' by Murdoch nursing students for the Crime Day exercise

Professor Jurgen Brohmer is 'treated' by Murdoch nursing students for the Crime Day exercise. Picture: Alberto Cacciatore

Year 10 students from two Perth schools witnessed the ‘death’ of a Murdoch professor, but thankfully the drama was all in the name of education.

The theatrical ‘murder’ of School of Law Dean Professor Jürgen Bröhmer was all part of the University’s inaugural Crime Day, which showcased its courses, staff, students and facilities to more than 50 pupils from Canning Vale College and Iona Presentation College.

The pupils witnessed a bloodied Professor Bröhmer staggering out of an elevator, before collapsing and ‘dying’, despite attempts by nursing students and teachers to revive him.

Students then had the opportunity to try short taster activities in forensic science, nursing, journalism and law.

Later they watched the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of the crime – School of Law manager Gail Wescombe. The pupils will be invited back to the Perth Campus to watch Ms Wescombe’s mock trial later in the year.

“Crime Day was a fun and engaging way to present a variety of courses available at Murdoch to school pupils who will soon be making decisions about their future,” said Professor Bröhmer.

“The students were able to find out more on how such a crime would be investigated and dealt with by forensics officers and criminal lawyers. They were also given a tour of our incredible nursing simulation suite and gained an insight into how journalists report on such events.”

Organiser Dr Jaimie Zander from the School of Law said it was hoped Crime Day could become an annual event and plans for a ‘bigger and better’ crime were already underway.

Iona humanities and social sciences teacher Cheryl Ainsworth said her pupils had enjoyed and learnt much from the day.

“It was wonderful to see them engaging in hands-on activities like the blood splatter workshop, which gave them a real sense of how all they learn in science and maths can be applied to the real world,” she said.

“The introduction to criminal law activity also engaged the students in problem solving. The link between sciences and the humanities is a valuable experience in considering future studies and links with the real world.”

Wendy Qasem, Academic Excellence Co-ordinator at Canning Vale College, said: “It was an absolute privilege for our students to participate in the inaugural Murdoch Crime Day. It was a fantastic opportunity for students to gain a deeper insight into the various careers involved in solving a ‘murder case’.

“Not only were students intrigued about who committed the crime, they were actively engaged in the problem-solving process from a variety of legal, scientific and health principles.”

All the latest news from Murdoch University can be read here.

All pictures by Murdoch photography students Alberto Cacciatore and Gerard Voysey.

Death of the Dean 2017

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Comments (2 responses)


What a great idea to engage students. Well done Schools and Outreach staff involved.

Jurgen 'rose from the dead' to attend the Dean's meeting on Monday where he continued to praise the innovations happening in criminology and the connections with forensic science. Can only do a double major like that at Murdoch.

Anne May 9, 2017

Wouldn't it be great if the Journalism students could Report on the event and Drama students be included?

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