Half day workshops* on a variety of topics will provide an opportunity for professional engagement with the IAFL Conference in Melbourne.  All workshops will run at RMIT University on Monday 1st July, prior to the main conference. Scroll down to find details of the workshops and a link to book.


The workshops will be run at RMIT University’s City Campus in the Old Magistrates Court, building 20, and the Old Council Chambers, Building 1. Both buildings can be accessed from the entrance to Building 1 LaTrobe Street, and student guides in red RMIT T-shirts will be there to guide participants to the right room.

Building 1 map


Note: Registration and payment for workshops is separate to conference registration. Workshops are booked via the RMIT system (which is separate to the conference registration system). To book, simply click on the link at the bottom of each workshop description and follow the prompts.

*Workshops listed here are subject to change. Details of all available workshops will be published online prior to workshop registration opening.

The cost is AUD75.00 for each workshop.

Morning workshops Monday 1st July 9.00 – 12.00pm

Workshop 1 – Forensic Interviewing

Workshop 2 – Plain Language Writing

Afternoon workshops Monday 1st July 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Workshop 3 – Forensic Linguistics for Teachers

Workshop 1

Forensic Interviewing

9.00am – 12.00pm Monday 1st July, 2019

Presenter: Associate Professor Georgina Heydon

Intended audience: legal practitioners, members of the judiciary, law enforcement and justice department agents, legal interpreters, students in related fields


Do you know how to be a good listener? Do you know how to elicit the most reliable information from a client or witness? Is your interviewing technique based on scientifically tested methods? This workshop will introduce the main concepts you need to improve interviewing in your professional practice, including:

  • International best practice models of interviewing
  • Planning an effective interview
  • Question types
  • Reliability of responses
  • Contamination of evidence
  • Topic management
  • Closure
  • Information management

About the Presenter:

A/Prof Georgina Heydon lectures in forensic interviewing at RMIT University and has delivered interviewing training to police, judges, lawyers and interpreters around the world. She has advised the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group in Washington, D.C. and published extensively on the language of police and legal interviewing.

Click here to book (link will open in a new window)

Workshop 2

Plain Language Writing:
Clarifying communication between the legal system and the public.

9.00am – 12.00pm Monday 1st July, 2019

Presenter: Adjunct Professor John Gibbons

Intended Audience: anyone interested in lawyer-lay communication.


It is no secret that legal language is hard to understand for non-lawyers (and sometimes for lawyers). However, ignorance of the law is no defence, so there is a fundamental problem. Some of the complexity of legal language is a product of the complexity of some legal concepts, but it has been demonstrated often that much of the complexity is unnecessary. Legal contexts can introduce further impediments to communication.

This session:

  • analyses some of the sources of the communication difficulty, provides an example, and suggests some possible solutions;
  • then participants have the opportunity to workshop some legal language that is targeted at a lay audience, analysing the sources of difficulty, and them attempting to remedy them;
  • finally participants will compare the results of their efforts, and the workshop leader will provide feedback.

About the Presenter:

Adjunct Professor John Gibbons has varied experience in language and law issues (Forensic Linguistics). He worked with the New South Wales Police on their language procedures; was consulted concerning federal legal interpreter legislation by the Attorney General’s Department Canberra; was adviser to the Law Foundation of New South Wales on language and law issues 1994-2000; has acted as an expert in more than 40 legal cases; and was a consultant to the Victorian Charge Book Committee on the language of jury instructions. He has published widely in the field.

Click here to book (link will open in a new window)

Workshop 3

Forensic Linguistics for Teachers

1.00pm – 4.00pm Monday 1st July, 2019

Presenter: Associate Professor Georgina Heydon

Intended audience: teachers of English and linguistics


This hands on workshop presents a variety of methods for engaging students in the study of English language through forensic linguistics case studies and methods.  The models for classroom exercises are suitable to use within secondary school English curricula at all levels and the English Language (VCE) curriculum as well as undergraduate linguistics courses. Teachers will be shown how to develop materials for a mock crime exercise involving authorship identification and how to use voice analysis to investigate the sounds of English.  The workshop will include collaborative learning opportunities and participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas for class projects to share and develop with peers.

About the Presenter:

A/Prof Georgina Heydon is the President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists and lectures in forensic interviewing and criminology at RMIT University. She has previously been a guest presenter for the BooBooks English Teachers Conference in Melbourne and is a regular presenter for professional development workshops in law and justice organisations.

Click here to book (link will open in a new window)