The committee controls and manages the affairs of the society, and consists of the office-bearers and 3 – 5 ordinary committee members.

To be elected to a position of ordinary member on the committee, individuals must hold provisional, regular, or life membership. To be elected to an office-bearer position on the committee, individuals must hold regular or life membership.


The current committee of the ASFDE Inc. was elected at the annual general meeting held in Melbourne on the 17th of May 2023.

President Kathryn Miegel
Vice President Carolyne Bird
Secretary Catherine Shehan
Treasurer Linda Jones
Ordinary Members Melanie Holt, Amanda Kumar, Thekla Ganiaris and Bianca McKechnie
Public Officer Melanie Holt


The annual general meeting (AGM) of the society is held around May of each year and coincides with a scientific meeting and/or workshop opportunity. Notice of each AGM will be sent to current members directly, in accordance with the constitution, and will be posted to the password protected Members’ Area.

Scientific Meetings

Yearly scientific meetings are held in conjunction with the annual general meetings of the society. All members are invited to attend and present any research to aid in collaboration between members of different organisations. Members are encouraged to present a paper (based on research or a case study, etc.) at least once every two years.

The next annual scientific meeting will be held at the Australia Federal Police facility in Majura, ACT from 9 – 12 April 2024. The meeting schedule is:

Tues 9 April: (afternoon) Tour of National Archives, including their preservation laboratory

Wed 10 April: (morning) member presentations; (afternoon) AGM, Indentation Sequencing Workshop presented by AFP

Thurs 11 – Fri 12 April: (full days) Font Determination Workshop presented by ‘The Font Detective’ Thomas Phinney

Registration will be $300 and open soon. A $50 discount will be offered for members who make a presentation.

Scholarships are also being offered, closing on Friday 8 March; further information is on the application form.


Professional Development Award

The ASFDE Inc Professional Development Award is offered biennially and is open to Regular, Life and Corresponding members who are a practicing or trainee FDE.

The purpose of the Award is to provide financial support (up to AUD$2000) to members so that they can attend a professional development event which will help to further develop their skills, knowledge or expertise in the field of forensic document examination.

A maximum of one Award will be offered per biennium (note: no Award was awarded in 2023).

The Professional Development Award will open in late 2024 and close in early 2025.

Application Process

Applications open upon notification by the President to all members

Applicants must be a current financial Regular, Life or Corresponding member of the ASFDE Inc with at least 24 months of membership at the time of application. Applicants must be either a practicing or trainee FDE.

All applications must submitted on the official application form addressing all the selection criteria.

The ASFDE Inc Committee will nominate a selection panel to assess applications.

Conditions and Responsibilities of the Award

Full details, including selection criteria, conditions and responsibilities of the award are outlined in the Professional Development Award policy.

Contact and Related Documents

All questions or correspondence related to the award should be directed to

Related Documents: Professional Development Award Policy

Code of Ethics

To support the objectives and purposes of the society, each member of the ASFDE Inc. agrees to abide by the following code of ethics:

  1. To apply accepted scientific principles and logic in the solution of all document problems and to follow the truth courageously.
  2. To render an opinion or conclusion strictly in accordance with the physical evidence in the document, and only to the extent justified by the facts. To admit frankly that certain questions cannot be answered because of the nature of the problem, the lack of material, or insufficient opportunity for examination.
  3. To express opinions in written reports in simple, precise and unambiguous terms and to use simple terms when presenting evidence.
  4. To maintain objectivity at all times and not take examinations beyond the limits of one’s expertise. If a particular investigation requires the use of a novel method, the status of that method should be identified and explained.
  5. Where applicable, the physical results of tests, field notes, test notes, reports and photographs should be retained until at least the conclusion of any relevant legal proceedings, including any additional periods of appeal as determined by law.
  6. To maintain confidentiality of information received and not make inappropriate disclosures.
  7. Not to undertake examinations on a contingency basis.
  8. To make technically correct and conservative statements in all written or oral reports, testimony, public addresses or publications, and to avoid misleading or inaccurate claims.
  9. To act at all times (both in and out of court) in an absolutely impartial manner and to do nothing that would imply partisanship or any interest in the case except to prove the facts and prove them correctly consistent with membership of a skilled profession and to treat colleagues with due respect and avoid inappropriate criticism of them.
  10. Where applicable, to abide by the Expert Evidence Rules Code of Conduct of the relevant jurisdiction.
  11. To maintain a constant spirit of fairness, combined with high ethical, education and technical standards, thereby promoting justice and creating increased confidence in the profession of document examination; and by exemplary conduct and scientific thoroughness carry out the aims and ideals of this Society. It is the duty of each member to serve the purposes of the Society, to observe its by-laws, and to be governed by this Code of Ethics.

Any member who fails to comply with these provisions may face disciplinary procedures as defined in section 11 of the constitution of the ASFDE Inc.

ASFDE Inc Summary of Error Rates in Handwriting and Signature Examination

Within the Australian and international forensic communities there is a growing push to establish and communicate the reliability of results associated with forensic examinations. One method for presenting the uncertainty attached to examinations is through the provision of error rates. While the term ‘error rate’ suggests a problem, the measurement can also be used to demonstrate the relative lack of error. 

The Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examination Inc. (ASFDE Inc.) seeks represent excellence in Forensic Document Examination by publishing this summary of empirical research relating to error rates in handwriting and signature examination. It is the intention of the ASFDE Inc. that this summary will be publicly accessible for use by Forensic Document Examiners and by any jurisdiction seeking this information. 

The summary is available here.

References are also available for members in the members area.