We are a diverse and globally connected group of people who share a passion and commitment for helping investigative interviewers achieve their potential.
Good decision-making during investigations often relies on obtaining accurate and detailed verbal information in a way that makes informants feel valued in the process. To achieve this goal, interviewers need to maximise people’s ability to provide uninhibited narrative detail. This forms the basis of most interview guidelines around the world.
Applying these interview guidelines in various contexts and with different interviewees is complex and challenging in practice. This is our Centre’s primary focus. We collaborate with organisations to generate new knowledge about interviewing and interviewer training techniques. We bring this knowledge to the doorstep of industry by providing advice and innovative, effective educational resources. We are multidisciplinary – our work is guided by studies of memory, language, culture, speech pathology, human learning, and law. Our resources are developed in collaboration with some of the best people in the creative and education industries.
PhD, MClinPsych, BA (Hons), DipTeach
Our Centre evolved from Martine Powell’s long-term commitment to improving justice outcomes for vulnerable witnesses. Her early work as a teacher and child abuse psychologist sparked an interest in witness testimony. After obtaining a PhD in human memory in 1996, Martine commenced an academic career at Deakin University (Melbourne). She soon developed an international research profile, becoming a go-to person for advice on child witness interviewing. By 2006 her collaborations had extended to over 70 organisations across many disciplines such as child protection, health, and law enforcement.
Despite international agreement on how investigative interviews are best conducted, there was a persistent gap between recommended interview technique and what professionals were doing in the field. In 2008, Martine embarked on a radical program of research to address this gap and prepare the foundation for training reform. Her team set out to identify which activities best promote and sustain expertise in interviewing, explore the perspectives of prosecutors, community and investigators, and coordinate methods of improved training delivery. The evaluation of her team’s new techniques were outstanding, sparking a global revolution in the teaching of investigative interviewing.
In 2014, Martine founded our research and training centre, to recognise and consolidate the growing interdisciplinary collaborative effort in improving interview techniques. In 2018, the Centre relocated to Griffith Criminology Institute (GCI) at Griffith University – one of the largest, most vibrant and high-performing criminology communities in the world. GCI members have expertise in a range of areas including preventing violence, breaking cycles of crime and inequality and enhancing security. Our move to GCI led to a rapid increase in cross-disciplinary research collaboration, and expansion into broader fields such as border control, human resources, and internet child exploitation investigation. The Centre enhances the GCI vision to provide cutting-edge knowledge that helps create safe, just and equitable societies.
Our Centre’s strategic plan is guided by core values of authenticity, creativity and connectedness. We are research-focused and strive for continuous improvement. Our evidence-based training is underpinned by the strong industry relationships, services and infrastructure needed for positive change.
People and partnerships
We are comprised of a highly multicultural group of administrative staff, researchers, PhD candidates, trainers and student interns. Several of us (including our founder) are located at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Several full-time research and training staff are strategically located across Australia and internationally.
Our Centre is supported by Griffith University’s broader infrastructure and services such as IT, data security, finance systems, research ethics guidance and business management. We also have access to internal research collaboration and networking opportunities.
We regularly engage the services of a committed group of contractors who assist with research-related tasks and the development of new resources. These professionals include transcribers, translators, manuscript editors, filmmakers, animators, actors and multimedia professionals.
We work closely with research collaborators and industry partners across a range of backgrounds and locations. To facilitate collaboration, we employ multilingual staff, adopt state-of-the-art videoconference facilities, are based across multiple locations, and travel when needed.
A diverse range of industry partners engage in our research and training. Some are represented here.
Also supported by
Our research is supported by a range of competitive grant schemes and government tenders.