Training and Educational History

QAFI-2The QAFI was formed in 1990 and formally became the Queensland Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators in 1993. In 1996, the QAFI name change was adopted to more accurately reflect the nature of the Associations’ activities. The QAFI has provided a regular opportunity for the various government and industry bodies involved in the investigation of fires and fraud, to meet and work together on various projects. Over the years we have seen a significant improvement in the cooperation between the insurance industry, private and scientific investigators, Queensland Police Service (QPS), Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the Electrical Safety Office.

The regular activities of the QAFI are centred on bi-monthly meetings (where a variety of speakers give presentations on various topics relating to fire investigation and fraud), the production of newsletters and article contributions to the IAAI Australian Chapters national magazine the Firepoint Journal. The QAFI also has a strong history of performance in providing high profile, quality training seminars and conferences.

2018 Oct 10

Half day seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club provided presentations on “Fire Investigation Case Studies”.

2018 July 26

Full day seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club provided presentations on “Cause and Effect of Non-compliance”.

2018 March 22

Breakfast seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club provided a presentation on Electrical Switchboard Failures.

2017 October 26

One day seminar and live burn

This seminar held at the QFES Training Facility, Whyte Island, comprised a number of presentations on ‘motor vehicle fires’.

2017 July 20

Half-day Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club comprised a number of presentations on‘Emerging Technology in Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)’.

2017 March 30

Breakfast Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club comprised a presentation on the many aspects of preparation for conducting and reporting on a fire scene investigation.

2016 December 1

Half Day Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club comprised a half day of presentations on “Fire scene access and authority: a fire scene review from incident notification to site rehabilitation” and “Motor vehicle fire investigations.

2016 July 28

Half Day Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos League Club comprised a half day of presentations on “emerging issues in battery technology”,  “product recalls” and a case study on hoverboards.

2015 October 29

Live Burn Seminar

This seminar held at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services training facility, Whyte Island, comprised a half day  of lectures  and a half day  of live burn demonstrations.    Topics included:  “Fire Scene analysis: initial scene investigation and assessment”,  “Ventilation effects of fire” and  “Use of drones for fire scene investigation”.

2015 July 23

“Case Studies” Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club comprised a half day with informative presentations and case studies including: “Cathedral Place Fire”, “Charleville Truck Fire/Explosion”, “Ethanol Burners” and “Arson – An Insurer’s Perspective”.

2014 October

AAFI Conference & Workshop – Hosted by QAFI

The AAFI conference “Achieving Better Outcomes” was held at the Sofitel at the Gold Coast and comprised two full days looking at new and better investigation methods.  The preceding day was a workshop day with renowned US fire investigation expert John Lentini titled “What a fire investigator needs to know to be halfway competent”.

2013 October 24

“Advances in Fire Investigation” Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club comprised a full day with informative presentations and case studies including: “Decontamination”, “Atmospheric sampling”, “Fraud”, “3D technology “, “Advances in building design”, “Clem 7 Tunnel vehicle fire” and “Legal issues”.

2013 June 12

Breakfast Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club provided four informative case studies: “Solar PV installation fires”, “Rechargeable torch”, “Using science to support fire investigation conclusions” and “Clandestine laboratories”.

2012  October 18

“Commercial Constructions – Structural Fires” Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club comprised a full day with informative presentations and case studies including: “World Trade Center 9/11”, “Asbestos”, “Legal issues”, “Extra cost of reinstatement in respect of commercial building fires”.

2012 June 14

“Case Studies” Breakfast Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club comprised a half day with three informative case studies: “Undetected gas leak explosion in a domestic dwelling”, “Electrical ignition of a neon sign”; and “Explosion and resulting fire involving a flybridge boat”.

2012 March 15

Breakfast Seminar

This seminar held at the Broncos Leagues Club comprised  a presentation  titled “Admissibility of expert evidence” by a Barrister at Law .

2011 September 15

Transportation Fires Seminar

This seminar held at the Queensland Combined Emergency Service Academy comprised a half day  of lectures  and a half day  of live burn demonstrations  of transport vehicles.    Topics included:  “NFPA 921 –  motor vehicle fires”,  “Analysis of and detection of causes of vehicle fires”,  “Legal issues”, and “Electric hybrid vehicles –  unique features”.

2011 June 9

“Case Studies” Morning Seminar

This seminar held at the Kedron Wavell Services Club comprised a half day with three informative case studies: “7th alarm carpet underlay factory fire Yatala”; “Post-fire analysis, firefighter entrapment, Littabella 2010”; and “Perils of fire scene reconstruction”.

2010 October 28 

Electrical Fire Investigation & Live Burns” Seminar

This one day seminar held in Brisbane at the Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy comprised a half day addressing the theory of electrical fires and a half day of live burn demonstrations / examination of fire scenes. The topics coverd included Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel systems fire hazards; Electrical theory and ignition sources; Evidence for liability and insurance recovery; Live burns of electrical appliances and Live room burn involving electrical equipment followed by walk through scene examinations.

2006 August 4-5 

“Gas Explosion Investigations” – Conference

2005 July 21 

“Rights of Access to a Fire Scene & Evidence Collection” – Conference

2004 July 16-17 

“Motor Vehicle & Machinery Fire Investigation” Conference

2004 March 28-29 

“Marine Fire Investigation” Conference

2003 October 24 

“Childers Symposium – An Insight into the Investigations”

2003 March 27 

“Fire & Explosion Investigations” (1 Day seminar)

2002 March 8 – 9 

“Prevention is better than Cure” Conference

“House Warming” Workshop
A one-day training seminar was held on-site at Moggill encompassing fire scene examinations of an accelerated fire and a slow combustion fire in two similar rooms, backdraft/flashover demonstrations and identifying generic problems with the older “Queensland” style homes.

Fire Dynamics, Flashover and Fire Indicators” Workshop – Conrad Jupiters, Gold Coast

The QAFI in association with The National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS), convened a two-day workshop presented by Dr. John DeHaan, a criminalist from the United State who is internationally recognised for his expertise in fire and explosion investigations. The workshop covered many topics including basic fire dynamics, flashover issues, accelerated versus non-accelerated fires, compartment fire tests, facts and fallacies of fire indicators, fire reconstruction, fire death investigations, combustion explosions and other criminalistic aspects of fire scenes.

The Witness” Training Package

Original footage from the 1997 “Coronial Inquest”, was used together with additional footage to develop a training video entitled “The Witness”, which was released in October 1999, in VHS format. The video provided an overview of the operation of a coronial court and instructive information in relation to being a witness. The video was complimented by a training workbook to form a complete training package.

Coronial Inquest” – Brisbane Magistrates Court

Delegates watched and learned how the Coroner, Mr Gary Casey conducted an inquiry into a domestic house fire in which there was serious human injury and an unclear fire cause. This was an ideal opportunity for delegates to watch the evidence unfold as some of Brisbane’s Barristers cross-examined key witnesses from the Police, Fire Services, Electrical Safety Division, Private Sector and Insurance Industry. The entire day’s proceedings were recorded on film to enable a video to be produced at a later date.

Operation Bright Spark” Video release

As a result of the filming of the fires conducted during “Operation Bright Spark” a 30 minute training video was produced highlighting a laundry fire, cooking oil fire, domestic sprinkler testing and the development of a house fire. The video was provided to delegates and later released for sale. Approximately 200 copies have been distributedin Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.A.

Operation Bright Spark” – Bellbowrie, Brisbane

Operation Bright Spark focused on the electrical industry, highlighting the investigation and prevention of electrical fires. Participants were able to view a large number of static displays, provided by appliance manufacturers,demonstrating the protective measures taken to prevent fires in appliances. Other displays explained various investigative techniques. A fully furnished brick and tile home was systemically destroyed by a number of controlled fires. Remote observation of the fires and subsequent detailed examination of fire damage was
again 1996.

Mock Arson Trial” – Banco Court – Supreme Court Building, Brisbane. Residing: Mr Justice Derrington – Prosecuting: Deputy Director of Prosecutions, Mr Brendan Butler – Defending: Barrister, Mr Adrian Gundelach A moot court case was held in the “Banco” Supreme Court. The case provided participants with the opportunity to observe first hand the workings of an arson trial and the evidential processes at work. The exercise was given an extra air of reality by its location and the generous participation of a Supreme Court Justice and Barristers in presentation of the exercise.

Fire Dynamics Research Day” – Lytton, Brisbane

During this two-day event, a fully furnished timber house was systematically involved in controlled fires. Participants were given the opportunity to view the rooms prior to involvement by fire. The development of fire in each fire cell was observed remotely by the participants on video

“Rockhampton Night Club Bombing” – Workshop