Georgina Heydon is an Associate Professor in Criminology and Justice Studies, and a forensic linguist.
In 2005, Dr Georgina Heydon published the first monograph to analyse the language of police interviewing in Australia from a linguistic and discourse analytic perspective. Her foundational work on the linguistic structures of police interviews and moral frameworks in questioning provides new insights into investigative interviewing by revealing the language strategies used by police and suspects to construct evidentiary narratives. Over the last ten years, her research has attempted to contribute a new level of detail to the analysis of legal-societal issues in policing by focusing on the discursive phenomena that underlie testimonial integrity, methods of detecting deception, formality and the right to silence.
More recently, Georgina has begun to examine questioning procedures across a broader range of contexts, including tribunals, courtrooms and the media. She believes that there is much to be learned from the extensive research underlying modern police interviewing training, and that these insights can help to improve questioning practices in other contexts. She is particularly interested in improving practices for eliciting information from vulnerable members of the community (e.g. refugees) and in providing basic interviewing training for police in post-conflict and post-colonial regions. As a linguist, she hopes to expand best practice cognitive interviewing methods to operate effectively in multi-lingual and multi-ethnic communities.
Georgina is the Higher Degrees by Research Program Manager for the School of Global Urban and Social Studies (GUSS).
Georgina is also a co-convenor of the Gendered Violence and Abuse Research Alliance in GUSS.
She is currently the Immediate Past President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, a member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.
Georgina is presently lead Chief Investigator on a Criminology Research Grants project examining the use of anonymous and confidential reporting of sexual assault and the use of these reports by police in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Georgina is also a Chief Investigator on a Legal Services Board grant with Professor Bronwyn Naylor (GSBL, RMIT University) and Stan Winford (Centre for Innovative Justice) in partnership with Woor Dungin Aboriginal organisation to investigate the impact of criminal record checking on Aboriginal employment in Victoria. This follows similar research in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
From 2009–2013, Georgina was a chief investigator with Prof Bronwyn Naylor, Prof Marilyn Pittard and Dr Moira Paterson (Law Faculty, Monash University) on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project 'Living Down the Past' (LP0990348 2009–2012) that examines the impact of police record checking by employers on ex-offenders and their rehabilitation. Earlier work on the project received funding through the Law Services Board Small Grants Scheme.
Dr Heydon is currently supervising research students in forensic linguistics, crime and language, investigative interviewing, legal interpreting and cryptologic linguistics. She has also supervised students undertaking research concerning broader criminology and criminal justice topics and welcome proposals from aspiring researchers in the justice field, particularly in forensic linguistics and investigative interviewing.
In addition to supervising a large cohort of HDR candidates and conducting funded research with colleagues, in January 2017, Georgina became the Higher Degree Research (HDR) Program Manager in GUSS. Georgina continues her role as co-convenor of the Gendered Violence and Abuse Research Alliance, and provides professional development and training to the justice sector.
Contact Assoc Prof Heydon for advice on expert witness testimony relating to police interview transcripts, authorship of documents, threats and other language related cases.
- PhD (Monash University)
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Monash University)
- Bachelor of Arts (Monash University)
- Designed and delivered programs of investigative interviewing training for the Australian Federal Police and police academies in Canada, Belgium, Sweden, the European Police College, and Indonesia, as well as interviewing and language training sessions for the National Judicial College of Australia, the Judicial College of Victoria, the Victorian Law Institute and the Refugee and Migration Tribunals (Australia).
- Founded the Australian Investigative Interviewing Network in 2007, bringing together police members and academic researchers in police interviewing.
- Convened the inaugural Investigative Interviewing Forum for Australian police practitioners and researchers (10th July, 2007) and have coordinated similar master classes and workshops most years since.
- Regularly provide expert forensic evidence (reports and court testimony) in court cases involving linguistic data in Magistrates' County and Supreme court cases.
- Regularly provide consultations, advice and workshops in organisational communications to multinational corporations and government departments, especially in the area of language and gender in the workplace and effective interviewing.
- Immediate Past President of the of the International Association of Forensic Linguists (www.iafl.org)
- Member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (www.iiirg.org)
Georgina Heydon is an expert in language use and forensic linguistics. She has appeared as a guest speaker on ABC and SBS radio and Channel 31's Life of Crime programme, and as a panel member at the Melbourne International Writers' festival.
- Heydon, G. (2019). Researching Forensic Linguistics: Approaches and Applications, Routledge, United Kingdom
- Macfarlane, J.,Kurt, C.,Heydon, G.,Roh, H. (2019). "Like giving a wheelchair to someone who should be walking": Interpreter access and the problematisation of linguistic diversity in the justice system In: New Frontiers in Forensic Linguistics, AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Heydon, G.,Naylor, B. (2018). Criminal record checking and employment: The importance of policy and proximity In: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 51, 372 - 394
- Heydon, G.,Mabasso, E. (2018). The Impact of Multilingualism on Reporting Domestic Violence in Mozambique In: Language Matters, 49, 84 - 106
- Muniroh, R.,Findling, J.,Heydon, G. (2018). What's in a question: a case for a culturally appropriate interviewing protocol in the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal In: Forensic Linguistics: Asylum-seekers, Refugees and Immigrants, Vernon Press, Delaware, USA
- Heydon, G. (2018). Topic Management in Police-Suspect Interviewing In: Handbook of Communication in the Legal Sphere, Walter De Gruyter, Boston, United States
- Heydon, G.,Powell, A. (2017). Written-response interview protocols: an innovative approach to confidential reporting and victim interviewing in sexual assault investigations In: Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, 28, 631 - 646
- Pruitt, L.,Hamilton, G.,Heydon, G.,Spark, C. (2017). Abbott's 'budget crisis', CALD women's loss? Service providers explore the impact of funding cuts In: Australian Journal of Political Science, 52, 335 - 350
- Findling, J.,Heydon, G. (2016). Questioning the evidence: A case for best-practice models of interviewing in the Refugee Review Tribunal In: Journal of Judicial Administration, 26, 19 - 30
- La Rooy, D.,Heydon, G.,Korkman, J.,Myklebust, T. (2015). Interviewing child witnesses In: Communication in Investigative and Legal Contexts: Integrated Approaches from Forensic Psychology, Linguistics and Law Enforcement, John Wiley and Sons, United Kingdom
6 PhD Completions7 PhD Current Supervisions
- Anonymous and Confidential Reporting Options for Sexual Assault: An Exploration of their Purpose, Use and Potential in Australia. Funded by: Australian Institute Criminology Research Grants from (2020 to 2022)
- Reducing barriers to employment for Aboriginal people: rethinking the role of criminal record checks. Funded by: Victorian Legal Services Board - Grant from (2019 to 2022)
- Living Down the Past: Criminal Record Checks and Access to Employment for Ex-offenders. Funded by: ARC Linkage Projects via other University pre-2014 from (2009 to 2011)