11th European Network of Forensic Handwriting Experts (ENFHEX) Conference and Business Meeting, Bled, Slovenia, 4-6 October 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Steven Strach attended the ENFHEX conference and business meeting held in the beautiful small resort town of Bled in Slovenia in the foothills of the Julian Alps.  On 6 October Steven co-presented an Electronic Signature and Handwriting Workshop with Nick Mettyear of Wacom. This was one of four workshops presented during the conference, two of which were on the topic of digitally captured signatures. It was an excellent meeting with high quality workshops, presented papers (11) and posters (9) on all aspects of the forensic examination of signatures and handwriting.  Credit must be given especially to the dynamic Chairman of ENFHEX Jonathan Morris (SPA Forensic Services, Glasgow, Scotland, UK) and to Nataša ŽENER (Nacionalni Forenzični Laboratorij, Ljubljana, Slovenija) for organising and running such a successful conference. As noted in a previous post, dated 14 September 2016, Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd became an Associate Member of ENFHEX, which is an Expert Working Group of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI).  Especially given the quality of this meeting, FDS hopes to be able to attend and contribute to as many future ENFHEX biennial conferences as possible, and plans to take part in the ENFHEX proficiency testing program.

Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) ACT Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Steven Strach attended the ANZFSS (ACT Branch) AGM on Tuesday 31 October 2017. The AGM, followed by a convivial dinner and informative presentation, was held at the Mercure Hotel Canberra. At the AGM there was a spirited discussion on a proposed change to adopt a new Rules of Association to replace the original Constitution of March 1995. The motion to adopt the new Rules was eventually passed (still to be ratified by Access Canberra, ACT Government). The new Committee was elected, headed by Joanne Giaccio (Forensic Chemist, ACT Health) as ACT Branch President.  Professor Clive Williams MG (Visiting Professor at the ANU College of Law's Centre for Military and Security Law and other academic positions) gave an interesting presentation on the “Recovery of Australian Vietnam MIAs”. Professor Williams (a Vietnam War veteran) described how he was part of a privately funded consortium which, between 2005 and 2007, organised the recovery of the remains of two of six Australian military personnel listed as Missing in Action (MIA) in Vietnam during the 1960s. The Department of Defence eventually recovered the remains of the other personnel. There are still 43 Australian MIAs from the 1950s Korean War and many thousands of Australian MIAs around the world.

Notarial Education Day – The Society of Notaries of New South Wales Inc and The College of Law, Sydney

Monday, 6 November 2017

On 31 October 2017, Michelle Novotny presented a seminar on “Frontline Document Authentication” as part of the one day program for The Society of Notaries of New South Wales Inc and The College of Law, Sydney.  The session related primarily to features of genuine, counterfeit and altered “identity” documents, but also touched on how other documents that may be presented to a Notary may be fraudulent.

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)

Friday, 3 November 2017

On 26 October 2017, Michelle Novotny presented an educational seminar on forensic document examination to the 2017 Conference of the STEP Victoria branch.  The session included discussion on evidence preservation and on choosing and instructing a forensic document examiner. 

16th Annual Clayton Utz / University of Sydney International Arbitration Lecture 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Paul Westwood and Michelle Novotny again attended the annual International Arbitration Lecture organised by Clayton Utz and the University of Sydney, and held at the Federal Court’s Ceremonial Court, in Sydney on 11 October 2017.  These lectures are of interest to the Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd team as their work includes being engaged as forensic document examiners in international arbitration matters.  The guest speaker was Sir Bernard Eder who provided his insights on the topic of “International Arbitration – How Worldly Is It?”.  The diversity of many aspects of international arbitration including the locations of the dispute resolution centres, the countries of origin of the parties, and the nationalities of the arbitrators, as well as the statistics over recent years, demonstrate that international arbitration is indeed very worldly and increasingly so, in a global sense, and to the great benefit of the process, as discussed by Sir Eder.

International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) Australia Quarter #3 Meeting Sydney, 29 September 2017

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Michelle Novotny attended this quarter’s IAFCI meeting of the NSW Chapter in Sydney, where updates were given by Chapter President Mr Con Nikolaou on the recent International IAFCI Conference in Canada, as well as on the upcoming IAFCI NSW Chapter Training Day 2017 IAFCI Asia Pacific Financial Crimes Symposium in Sydney, 27 October 2017.  Mr Jon Malone, Head of Fraud & ID for Experian, Australia and New Zealand, shared his insights on “Cybersecurity (new technologies, Device Intelligence)”, providing numerous interesting and shocking statistics for various matters relating to identity theft around the world.  A law enforcement update was also given by a member of the Fraud & Cybercrime Squad of the NSW Police Force.

Biometrics Institute Member Meeting Sydney, 26 September 2017

Friday, 29 September 2017

Michelle Novotny attended this Biometrics Institute Meeting which was hosted by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  Mr Terry Aulich, as Chair of the Privacy Committee of the Biometrics Institute, was the first speaker and his topic was “Biometrics and Privacy – What is being done?”.  The presentation was enlightening on numerous aspects of privacy policy and initiatives such as the Privacy Guidelines and Privacy Impact Assessment for Biometrics.  The second speaker of the day was Mr Brett Feldon, General Manager Speech Solutions of Salmat, who discussed “Advancing the customer experience with Voice Biometrics”, emphasising the omnipresence of voice and that, as a biometric, it is used for many things from booking a taxi to identification.  The Biometrics Institute Showcase Australia 2017 will be held in Canberra in November.

Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) ACT Branch meeting, 5 September 2017

Friday, 8 September 2017

Steven Strach attended a lecture by Nicholas O’Brien, Associate Professor, Counter-Terrorism, Head of Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security, Charles Sturt University at Tuesday evening’s meeting of ANZFSS(ACT).  The topic was “Suicide Terrorism”.  Nick gave a well presented and very informative insight into the history of suicide terrorism, which has come into prominence since about 1983.  One of the important messages that came across was that Australia should not be complacent about this issue, which has dominated world events, in particular since 2001 “9/11”.  It is not an “over there” issue, it is very much with us here in Australia and it appears that it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.  The world-wide incidences have increased, and quite dramatically so since 2001.  Nick said that, if there is one message we should take away from his presentation, it is that those incidences of suicide terrorism that have a religious association (i.e. most such events) involve people who really believe that they are taking the path to martyrdom and will reap the well-publicised rewards.

IAFCI Second Quarter Meeting – 30 June 2017

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Michelle Novotny attended the International Association of Financial Crime Investigators (IAFCI) second quarter meeting on 30 June 2017.  That meeting’s program included three very knowledgeable speakers.  Elly Johnson (Training Group International) discussed the topic of Evaluating Truthfulness and Detecting Deception in Interviews and Communication.  Rob Crawford (Senior Analyst in Financial Crimes with the Customer Owned Banking Association, COBA) provided an update on the current financial crimes climate and strategies being implemented by COBA.  DSC Jamie Gavan (Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, NSW Police Force) provided a law enforcement update and statistics on current crime trends.

AIPI NSW Chapter Meeting – 29 June 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

Michelle Novotny attended the recent NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Professional Investigators (AIPI) meeting held on Thursday, 29 June 2017, where Dr Kath Hall shared her strong interest and extensive knowledge to the group about the current whistleblower landscape and latest developments in Australian and global regulations and standards development in that area.