David Biles was a pioneer of criminology in Australia.
Over many years he contributed to the development of policy in the field, particularly as it related to prison management and corrections.
Born in England in 1932, Biles moved to Australia with his family as a teenager.
He was educated in Melbourne and undertook teacher training with the Victorian Department of Education in 1951 and 1952.
Initially he worked in Victorian country primary schools and found time to play Australian football for Nhill in the Wimmera league.
He then spent 11 years as an education officer in four Victorian prisons.
After two years lecturing in educational psychology at teachers' colleges, in 1967 he was appointed a lecturer in criminology at the University of Melbourne and later became senior lecturer.
He married fellow teacher Julie Kelly in January 1955 and they had two daughters, Roselynne and Amanda.
Sadly, in 1988 the family suffered a grievous blow with the death of Amanda.
Together with university colleagues Allen Bartholomew and Deidre Grieg, Biles founded the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.
He drafted a constitution for the new society that was endorsed at the inaugural meeting in Melbourne on October 24, 1967. He served as foundation honorary secretary and was president from 1980-83.
He later received the society's award for distinguished criminologist.
In 1973 the Australian Institute of Criminology was established in Canberra and Biles was appointed assistant director of research and statistics, and later deputy director.
For more than 20 years his research leadership fundamentally influenced and shaped policy and practice in Australian criminology.
Biles also provided expert advice nationally and overseas..
He was a member of South Australia's Criminal Law and Penal Methods Reform Committee under the leadership of Dame Roma Mitchell.
In the United States in 1977 he was a visiting research professor at the State University of New York (Albany); a Fulbright senior scholar at the University of California in 1981 and a Regents lecturer at the same university in 1985.
In 1987 the Hawke Government established the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and for several years Biles was seconded to be head of research.
In this role he identified the need for radical changes in the treatment of offenders in custody.
Biles' life work was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in 2003.
In 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate at Charles Sturt University.
Towards the end of his life, Biles reflected that his career might well have followed any of three different paths: in education, psychology or criminology.
In later years he contributed to public life with topical opinion pieces on criminology issues that were regularly published in newspapers, including The Canberra Times.
Biles died in Canberra on April 16, 2017.
His funeral was held on April 24 with eulogies presented by his daughter Roselynne Burge; granddaughter Kelly Burge and Professor Richard Harding, former director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.