John McGinn (Senior Forensic Document Examiner)

His experience, integrity and expertise.

John has had an extensive career in the government sector specialising in the forensic document examination discipline.

The nature of his employment has seen him develop specialist skills in signature and handwriting analysis and comparison, general document examinations, as well as the identification of fraudulent identity and secure documents.  

John has been awarded the Canberra Institute of Technology Diploma of Forensic Science (Document Examination) in the specialist areas of both Handwriting and Security Documents.   

His skills have been tested through La Trobe University Melbourne’s Forensic Expertise Profiling Laboratory and Collaborative Testing Services Inc. forensic proficiency tests. 

Until March 2015, John held an executive level position in the Australian Immigration Department's specialist Document Examination Network, managing a laboratory environment and leading a team responsible for the delivery of forensic document examination services relating to travel, identity, qualifications and entitlement claims within Western Australia.

This role provided various challenges due to the evolving and complex border control environment and John was responsible for the development and implementation of national processes for the management of volume document referrals to ensure appropriate and timely responses to the question of document and identity integrity.  

John commenced the company Document Examination Solutions Pty Ltd in 2008 to provide a specialised consultancy service in Perth Western Australia.  The company has expanded significantly both nationally and internationally in 2015. 

As with his government employment, in private practice John has extensive ongoing exposure to complex casework examinations in both criminal and civil proceedings, and receives instructions from both the prosecution and defence.  As a result, he is experienced in document examination evidence preparation, reporting, court presentation techniques and the delivery of evidence as an expert witness.

John is heavily involved in the national forensic community through his association with the Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examiners Incorporated and the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society where he has developed and delivered technical document examination workshops at international symposiums in 2008 and 2010.

Training and International Engagement:

Whilst in the government sector John was responsible for strategies to develop, maintain and support the document examination skills of a large number of staff operating in Australian border management roles.  This included the development and presentation of basic to advanced document examination training courses to employees of many Australian government agencies, including the Australian Immigration Department, Australian Customs Service, the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police, the Attorney Generals Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In 2009 John conceptualised the interactive elements of an advanced document examination eLearning product and worked closely with the Australian Immigration department's eLearning development team to see the course produced.  The course won multiple industry awards through the Australian Institute of Training Development (AITD) and LearnX for innovation and blended learning strategies.       

Extensively travelled, John has engaged with foreign government officials from many countries as a representative of the Australian government. 

Working at the technical level, over many years John has developed and implemented strategies for the installation of document examination laboratories in numerous challenging foreign environments, including the mentoring of staff to operate the facilities effectively.

John’s experience extends to the development, delivery and facilitation of international activities on document and identity fraud. He made a major contributions to the Australian government co-hosted Bali Process on People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime multi-lateral document examination workshops in the Philippines in 2009 and Singapore 2012.

Following the 2012 workshop, John managed the development of content for a basic eLearning course designed for front-line immigration officers, which is distributed as a Bali Process product. 

Document Examination Solutions has been contracted through the National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS) Canberra to develop and deliver document examination workshops to international forensic document examiners which has seen John successfully deliver courses both in Australia and internationally as a private consultant.  In more recent times, he was also an invited presenter to the South Africa Police Service 2nd National Forensic services Conference in Pretoria South Africa in 2014.  

Associations and Recognition: 

Member of the Australasian Society of Forensic Document Examiners Incorporated (ASFDE Inc) since 1991.  John is a Past President of the Society, having served in that position from 2014 - 2018. He has also held positions as Vice-President, Secretary and Ordinary Committee member.   

Member of the Australian New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) since 1993. John is currently an Ordinary Committee Member of the WA Branch.  

Recipient of the Australian National Medal for Service, the Western Australia Police Service Medal and an AFP Operations Medal (Operation Alliance - Response to Bali Bombing 2002).

Recipient of the ANZFSS (WA) Travel Scholarship, for cutting edge research within the WA forensic community, to attend the 2010 ANZFSS International Symposium Sydney.