Georgina Heydon is a Professor in Criminology and Justice Studies, and a forensic linguist.
In 2005, Prof 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. victim survivors of sexual assault, 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 a co-convenor of the Gendered Violence and Abuse Research Alliance in GUSS.
She is a 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, Georgina coodindates and delivers the exceptionally highly rated course in Forensic Interviewing for students in Justice and Criminology Studies. 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 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)
Prof Georgina Heydon is an expert in police interviewing, language use and forensic linguistics. She has been interviewed many times for radio and print news stories and has appeared as a guest speaker on ABC and SBS TV and Channel 31's Life of Crime programme. She has been a guest panel member at the Melbourne International Writers' festival, the Sisters in Crime Law Week Conversations evening and many industry events.
- Eades, D.,Fraser, H.,Heydon, G. (2023). Forensic Linguistics in Australia: Origins, Progress and Prospects, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Muniroh, R.,Heydon, G. (2022). Addressing the Gap Between Principles and Practices in Police Interviewing in Indonesia In: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 37, 312 - 324
- Loney-Howes, R.,Heydon, G.,O’Neill, T. (2022). Connecting survivors to therapeutic support and criminal justice through informal reporting options: an analysis of sexual violence reports made to a digital reporting tool in Australia In: Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 34, 20 - 37
- Mabasso, E.,Heydon, G. (2022). Mozambican Police Interviews: the interaction between official language and legal pluralism In: Language and the Law: Global perspectives in forensic linguistics from Africa and beyond, African Sun Media, Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Naylor, B.,Heydon, G. (2022). Criminal records, discrimination, and Aboriginal communities: Enhancing employment opportunities In: Journal of Criminology, 55, 514 - 531
- Gilbert, D.,Heydon, G. (2021). Translated transcripts from covert recordings used for evidence in court: Issues of reliability In: Frontiers in Communication, 6, 1 - 13
- Heydon, G.,Kianbakht, S. (2020). Applying Cultural Linguistics to Translation Studies: A New Model for Humour Translation In: International Journal of Comparative Literature & Translation Studies, 8, 1 - 11
- 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. (2018). Topic Management in Police-Suspect Interviewing In: Handbook of Communication in the Legal Sphere, Walter De Gruyter, Boston, United States
10 PhD Completions3 PhD Current Supervisions
- Family violence and sexual harm: Principles for responding to victim survivors with co-occurring experience of family and sexual violence. Funded by: Family Violence Research Grants Program from (2022 to 2023)
- 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 2023)
- Reducing barriers to employment for Aboriginal people: rethinking the role of criminal record checks. Funded by: Victorian Legal Services Board - Grant from (2019 to 2024)
- 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)