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Welcome to AAWI
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Welcome to the website of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators (AAWI).

This is the first association to represent and bring together workplace investigators in Australasia. Please see the links below to read the AAWI launch reports.

If you are:

  • A workplace investigator,
  • A lawyer in employment law,
  • An HR manager/risk or line manager who deals with investigations,
  • An in house legal counsel dealing with investigations or external investigators,
  • A psychologist, or
  • Have a professional interest in impartial workplace investigations...

>> Then please join us

Introduction to AAWI

The Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators (AAWI) is a professional membership association for lawyers, human resource professionals, private investigators, psychologists, risk and compliance managers, in house legal counsel and many others who conduct, manage or have a professional interest in impartial workplace investigations.

AAWI is a chapter of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) which is based in the United States.

Our Mission

To promote and enhance the quality of impartial workplace investigations and provide mutual support for those who work in this field.

AAWI Listserv

The AAWI Listserv is available for AAWI members for communications specific to the Australasian chapter of AWI.


Local Circle Meetings

Local Circles are a way for members to come together and share experiences. AAWI has established Local Circles in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in Australia and as well as Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand. Members are encouraged to attend Local Circle Meetings in difference States. Visit the Online Calendar for all upcoming events and Local Circle Meetings. Please email for further information about AAWI Local Circles.

AAWI October Circle Meeting - Brisbane, Queensland

Thursday 16 May 2019, 4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Providence HR Offices
Level 11, 307 Queen Street | BRISBANE QLD 4000

Please join us for the first Brisbane Local Circle Meeting of 2019 with special guest speaker QIRC and Industrial Court of Queensland Deputy President John Merrell.

Deputy President Merrell will be speaking on the topic "What are the elements of a good investigation?". 

Deputy President Merrell, prior to being appointed to the QIRC and Industrial Court of Queensland, was a Barrister specialising in Industrial Law. As a Barrister he was involved in all aspects of workplace investigations, including as an investigator and an advisor. as a Barrister he was required to examine workplace investigation reports and either advocate for or against their validity. As a member of the QIRC and Industrial Court he is required to examine and determine the validity of investigative processes and findings. This unique perspective of having considered workplace investigations from all slides makes him ideally placed to share his insights into what makes a good investigation.

Please share this with your colleagues or contacts who you believe would be interested in this event, or information about becoming a member of this new association. 

RSVP by Monday 13 May 2019 to Ellen at

2019 Conference


AAWI Conference 2019: Workplace Investigations: A Risky Business?

October 24 - 25 | The Grace Hotel
Sydney, New South Wales

Past Conferences

2018 AAWI Conference Report

Sarah Rey, Co-Convenor of AAWI (with Karen Streckfuss), opened the 2018 conference entitled “Maximum Impact – Minimal Harm”.  She reminded attendees involved in conducting workplace investigations that they have a lot of experience and insight, with which they can make a positive contribution to the discussions and decision making about how an investigation is scoped and conducted by employers.  In some if not many cases, the employer has less experience than the investigator in such matters.  As employers have a duty of care to support the parties in an investigation, and ensure a healthy workplace, it is important for them and their independently engaged investigators to understand how the process may be conducted in a way that ensures minimal harm to all concerned.

Read the full report

2017 AAWI Conference Report

Lisa Klug and Rose Bryant-Smith, Worklogic

The inaugural conference of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators, held in Melbourne on 20 October 2017, invited in-house investigators, consultants and lawyers to consider the concept of practical justice.

After a warm welcome by AAWI Co-Convener Karen Streckfuss, the Opening Keynote was given by former Federal Court Justice, the Hon Professor Peter Gray AM. Professor Gray’s speech entertained, engaged and provoked robust debate amongst the audience.

Pointing out that investigators are “employed to do the thing no-one else wants to do”, Professor Gray noted that investigators have no special powers conferred by law, nor are they protected from defamation suits via absolute privilege (as judges do). He questioned how external investigators can balance practical justice for the parties to the investigation, with the investigator’s self-interest in minimising the possibility of being sued for defamation for ‘republishing’ potentially untrue comments that other employees have said. Although a disgruntled employee would find it hard to prove they had suffered damage, sometimes slander is actionable without proof of special damage, especially if the allegation is one of criminal activity. Many of the audience took note – be cautious in future, and check whether your insurance covers defamation.

Read the full report

Australasian Advisory Committee

Sarah Rey (Co-Chair, Melbourne, AU)
Elizabeth Devine (Co-Chair, Sydney, AU)
Joanna Betteridge (Melbourne, AU)
John Boardman (Melbourne, AU)
Rose Bryant-Smith (Melbourne, AU)
Graeme Colgan (Auckland, NZ)
Paula Hoctor (Brisbane, AU)
Peta Nowacki (Melbourne, AU)
Andrena Patterson (Wellington, NZ)
Andrew Scott-Howman (Wellington, NZ)
Rebecca Taseff (Perth, WA)
Karen Wise (Melbourne, AU)
Jane Wyllie (Perth, AU)

We welcome your involvement and invite you to spread the word about AAWI. The first step is to join.

As a member you can participate in local circle meetings in your area, training programmes, and AAWI conferences. You can access the peer-reviewed AWI Journal, dozens of webinars on various aspects of workplace investigations, email Listservs, Guiding Principles for Conducting Workplace Investigations, and many other resources. Most importantly, you will become part of a strong and supportive community of colleagues dedicated to promoting and enhancing the quality of impartial workplace investigations.

AAWI does not conduct or manage workplace investigations, provide expert testimony about workplace investigations, or provide other such professional services. If you are in need of such professional services you may wish to contact one of our members directly. As anyone with a professional interest in workplace investigations is welcome to join AAWI, membership does not determine professional competence.

If you are interested in more information about AAWI, please explore our website, email us at, or call us at +61 0414 017 358.

Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators

Level 8, 350 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Phone +61 0414 017 358 • Email:

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