Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examiners Inc. (ASFDE Inc.) AGM and Scientific Meeting 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The whole Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd examiner team: Paul Westwood, Michelle Novotny, Steven Strach, Andrea Devlin and Claire Graydon, travelled to Melbourne last week for the ASFDE Inc. 2017 scientific meeting.  Two days of workshops presented by international colleagues, one day of presentations and discussion, the ASFDE Inc. AGM, attendance at the PacPrint Exhibition, and an industry visit to Placard, successfully filled the week with professional development, knowledge sharing and networking.

Lecture at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), 18 May 2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

On 18 May 2017, Claire Graydon was a guest lecturer for the Chemical Criminalistics class of the Forensic Science stream at UTS. The lecture provided an overview of the scope of forensic document examination, covered aspects of invasive and non-invasive examination techniques as well as proper collection, handling and storage of document evidence.

Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) meeting, 17 May 2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Prof. Michael S. Pollanen MD PhD, Chief Forensic Pathologist, Ontario Forensic Pathology Service was the plenary speaker at last night’s meeting of the AAFS in Sydney.  Michelle Novotny attended the seminar which discussed how a number of wrongful convictions in Ontario, Canada were the catalyst for capability development in forensic pathology, and the broader field of pathology as a whole, in the region. There was also much discussion of this year’s 21st Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS) to be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in August, as well as of Sydney’s bid to host the next IAFS meeting, in 2020, jointly with the meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS).  The decision regarding the 2020 IAFS meeting will be announced in August. 

Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) Australia Forum

Monday, 1 May 2017

Michelle Novotny attended a forum on Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) on 26 April 2017 in Melbourne, similar to the event held in Sydney in February of this year.  Michelle presented a seminar at the workshop addressing how EDRM processes can compromise forensic document evidence in civil and criminal disputes.  Considerations discussed for improving EDRM systems included imaging processes, uncompressed file formats and increased resolutions.  The limitations associated with examining non-originals, which are often the product of EDRM systems, have long been a concern of Forensic Document Services, and we hope that the seminar and similar future seminars will stimulate productive dialogues with developers and users of EDRM systems.

2016 NIST OSAC Subcommittee Meeting in Leesburg, Virginia, USA

Friday, 28 April 2017

Michelle Novotny travelled to the USA for last week’s April 2017 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organisation of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Subcommittee Meeting in Leesburg, Virginia, USA.  Draft standards are slowly moving through the review process, firstly within NIST OSAC, and then through the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Academy Standards Board (AAFS ASB).  As each draft standard is submitted for review higher up the chain, the forensic document examination subcommittee task groups pick up the next one on the long list of standards to tackle.  

Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) meeting: “Unlocking the “silent witness” of DNA”

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Andrea Devlin attended the February Plenary session of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences Inc. in Sydney where Dr Dennis McNevin (Associate Professor (Forensic Genetics) Faculty of Education, Science Technology and Mathematics, University of Canberra) presented a fascinating talk titled “Unlocking the “silent witness” of DNA”.  The topic covered emerging techniques in DNA analysis, such as massively parallel sequencing (MPS), and the intelligence information that can be gleaned from using such techniques, including biogeographical ancestry and externally visible characteristics. The future of forensic genetics is set to be very interesting!  FDS values keeping a finger on the pulse of emerging techniques in other fields of forensic science in the interest of facilitating a more effective interdisciplinary approach.

Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) Renovation Workshop

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Andrea Devlin attended a one-day workshop on Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) on 1 February 2017 in Sydney.  Michelle Novotny presented one of the seminars at the workshop to educate the attendees on how EDRM processes can compromise forensic document evidence in civil and criminal disputes that may arise.  Considerations discussed for improving EDRM systems included imaging processes, uncompressed file formats and increased resolutions.  The limitations associated with examining non-originals, which are often the product of EDRM systems, has long been a concern of Forensic Document Services, and we hope that the seminar and similar future seminars will stimulate productive dialogues with developers and users of EDRM systems.

Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Plenary, 23 November 2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Hon. Justice Chris Maxwell (of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria) was the plenary speaker at the 2016 AGM of the AAFS on Wednesday and discussed the topic of “Judging Forensic Evidence: Reliability and Validation?”.  Michelle Novotny, as a member, and Andrea Devlin and Claire Graydon, as guests, were part of an engaged audience for this presentation on what is a subject of broad and current interest.  Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd looks forward to attending the quarterly AAFS meetings in 2017.

Professional Development at Forensic Document Services

Monday, 28 November 2016

As part of the commitment by Forensic Document Services Pty Ltd to ongoing professional development for our team of examiners, Dermot Allen (Product Manager – Life Science & Industry Divisions) of Leica Microsystems was invited to attend our Sydney Laboratory to run a day-long tailored workshop on microscopy and digital imaging.  FDS would like to thank Dermot for his time and for the in-depth practical session that combined refreshers with many new tips and techniques to maximise the resources in the Leica Application Suite software.

Lecture at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

On 31 October 2016, Claire Graydon was a guest lecturer for the Chemical Criminalistics class in the Forensic Science, Crime Scene Examination Degree program at CIT. The lecture provided an overview of the scope of forensic document examination, covered aspects of invasive and non-invasive examination techniques as well as proper collection, handling and storage of document evidence.  

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