What makes Fire Forensics Pty Ltd so special?

Our focus has always been on the best quality first, supported by the latest scientific and technical knowledge and the highest levels of personal and corporate integrity.

Cutting edge technology

As well as the latest on-site tools, our case management system and other software provides high security and accessibility to our clients for full transparency of the investigation process.

Experienced and Friendly Team

Our team of friendly and approachable specialists will advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective way to investigate your case. We aim to make our customer service the best in the industry.

Location not a problem!

We operate routinely throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, the Pacific and Africa. In Europe, Asia and the Middle East we are supported by the resources of Fire Investigation Global LLP. For other incident locations, please contact us to discuss.

Flexible Reporting

In every case, our reports can be tailored to your specific requirements.  From a verbal briefing or bullet point email to a full Expert Witness Report with supporting documentation, you decide what you need at every stage.

Depth & Breadth of Experience

Our investigators have over 50 years of combined experience in public and private sectors.  We have investigated arson and murder cases, major industrial fires, all kinds of explosions including terrorist incidents, and a vast range of structure and transport fires.

Great Support

As well as the network of Fire Investigation Global to call on, we maintain close links with highly qualified and experienced specialists in related disciplines.  They include ignitable liquid and other chemical analysis, electrical engineering, electronic records recovery, metallurgy and fire protection engineering.  We are also allied with some of the best factual investigation companies in Australia.

Meet our friendly team!

James (Jim) Munday | Director / Senior Investigator

MIFireE, FSSDip, IAAI-CFI, FCSFS​

Jim is a forensic chemist, a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and holds the Forensic Science Society Diploma in Fire Investigation, accredited as a Post-Graduate Diploma by the University of Strathclyde.  He is also a Certified Fire Investigator under the International Association of Arson Investigators scheme and in 2007 was elected a Fellow of the Forensic Science Society, now the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, in recognition of significant contributions to the field of fire investigation.  Jim also holds a UK trade qualification in electrical installations and systems.

Jim began his career in forensic science in 1972 and has specialised in the investigation of fires and explosions since 1979. Formerly a member of the Fire Investigation Unit at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory (“Scotland Yard”) with a background in criminalistics, he has examined more than 4000 fire and explosion scenes including over 350 fatalities, carried out laboratory examinations and analyses on items and materials originating from more than 1000 others, and given evidence as an expert witness on numerous occasions in a wide variety of legal settings.

Jim is one of only a few specialists in the interpretation of thermal damage and injury distribution to injured and deceased victims of fire, helping to explain the person’s orientation and movements while the burning was taking place. He has devised and delivered fire investigation education and training in several countries and is widely sought after as a writer and speaker internationally.  Jim is a former office holder of the NSW Association of Fire Investigators, where he remains an active member.

Belinda Jane (BJ) Jones | Director / Senior Investigator

BA, BSc, MSc, Grad Dip FI, IAAI-CFI

BJ is a triple Graduate in Law & Administration (Canberra), Applied Chemistry with Honours (UTS), and Psychological Science (UNSW).  She has a Masters Degree in Forensic Science, with a thesis relating to fire investigation, and a Graduate Diploma of Fire Investigation from Charles Sturt University.  She has also studied with Gardiner Associates in the UK, completing the Joint Services foundation and practical courses and the Advanced Fire and Explosion course presented by Dr John DeHaan.  She has completed a Certificate III in electronics to assist in the identification of electrical fire causes in ITC equipment.  She also has a Post-Graduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies, awarded for a study of forensic science requirements in a polar setting.

BJ worked as a civilian crime scene examiner with the NSW Police Force and is skilled in physical evidence recovery techniques.  She then worked as a fire investigator for a major Australian insurance group prior to joining JW Munday & Associates in 2010.  She has investigated over 500 fires and explosions in a wide variety of structures, vehicles, machinery and equipment and has given expert evidence in NSW and Tasmanian courts.

BJ is an active member of several professional organisations including the IAAI, where she is a member of the Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee and is the CFI program manager for the NSW Association of Fire Investigators.

Vithyaa (Vicky) Thavapalan | Investigator

BSc, MSc, Grad Dip FI, IAAI-FIT

Vicky holds a Bachelor of Science and Technology degree from University of Sydney, a Master of Forensic Science from University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Fire Investigation from Charles Sturt University.

During her ongoing training she has also studied with the world-renowned Gardiner Associates Training and Research in the UK during 2016 by completing their Advanced Fire & Explosion Course and Practical Course. In 2019 she had attended the Advanced Principles of Fire Dynamics prepared by Dr. James Quintiere and Gulf Coast Fire US which was host by Fire Investigations UK.

In 2017 she had achieved her Fire Investigation Technician (FIT) accreditation and is working towards her CFI qualification with hopes to achieve it by the end of 2019 through the IAAI. In late 2018, Vicky had completed an intensive program in Electricity and Electronics with the University of South Australia, gaining a Distinction in her final examination. She hopes to further her skills in the electrical engineering fields and also dabbles in bushfires.

In 2019 she attended her first international job for a heavy machinery fire. Recently she has also become actively involved in the NSW Association of Fire Investigators as a committee member.

Ellie Johnston | Investigator

BSc, MSc

Ellie graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, she then went on to complete a Master of Science in Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney. She also holds a Forensic Medicine and Crime Scene Investigation Certificate from Victoria University, and is currently studying with Charles Sturt University for her Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation.

Ellie joined us as an intern in 2017 during her Master’s course and showed a natural aptitude and enthusiasm for fire and explosion investigation. On finishing her MSc, in July 2018 she took up a full time position with us and completed our in-house training program, augmented by studies in the UK at the world-renowned Gardiner Associates Training and Research facilities. There she reached the level required for UK Skills for Justice Level 5 Certification. In April 2019 she attended the International Association of Arson Investigators annual International Training Conference in Jacksonville, USA to increase their knowledge and skills with some of the world’s best investigators and instructors.

In the relatively short time Ellie has been with us, she has already been involved in investigating over 100 fire and explosion incidents in structures, vehicles and mining machinery.

Sonia Scott | Investigator

BComm, BSc(Hons), BSc(Adv), IAAI-FIT, IAAI-ECT

Sonia achieved a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) from the University of Sydney.  After then qualifying in accountancy and working for a while as an Accountant, she returned to science and studied Analytical Chemistry within the Forensic Science Centre at the University of Technology Sydney.  She gained a First Class Honours degree with a thesis on FTIR chemical imaging of fingerprints developed with novel cyanoacrylates.

Sonia joined us from the NSW Police Force where she was a Crime Scene Officer within the Forensic Services Group.  In that role she undertook a wide range of scene appraisal and evidence retrieval activities.  Since joining us in 2018, Sonia has been involved in a range of fire investigations including domestic and commercial buildings, road and off-road vehicles and specialist machinery.  She has completed our in-house training program, and also studied in the UK on the world-renowned Gardiner Associates Training and Research Joint Services Advanced Practical training course.  There she reached the level required for UK Skills for Justice Level 5 Certification.  In April 2019 she  attended the International Association of Arson Investigators annual International Training Conference in Jacksonville, USA to further their knowledge and skills with internationally recognised investigators and instructors.  Sonia has been qualified by the IAAI as  Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI-FIT) and is Australia’s first IAAI accredited Evidence Collection Technician (IAAI-ECT).

Sonia has been an office holder in the Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (NSW Branch) since 2012 and is actively involved in the NSW Association of Fire Investigators as a committee member.  She also sits on the IAAI Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee.

John Lording | Investigator

GradCertFI, AdvDip FI

John’s law enforcement career began with the Australian Customs Service and later moved into the Victoria Police Force, where he had a varied career as a uniform officer and a detective. His duties included arson and explosives investigation and his training involved a placement with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Fire Investigation and Analysis Unit.  Later he worked in the insurance industry, investigating and managing large fire claims, before setting up his own consultancy in 2010.

John holds a Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation from Charles Sturt University and an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (Fire Investigation) from the Canberra Institute of Technology. The latter is an approved qualification by AFAC for Police and Fire Service investigators.  Since 2014 John worked as an Associate with JW Munday & Associates on a contract basis and continues to do so for Fire Forensics Pty Ltd.  He has particular expertise in vehicle and machinery fires.

Aaron Markey | Trainee Fire Investigator

Bachelor of Forensic Science (Applied Chemistry, Forensic Science and Technology)

Aaron was given a summer internship across November 2017-January 2018 whilst he was on holidays from his degree at University of Technology Sydney. In early 2019 he had finished his degree and came on board as our Trainee Fire Investigators. As part of his training he also is completing his Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation at Charle Stuart University.

His current training involves attending scenes with Senior Fire Investigators whilst also providing assistance and support. He also gathers evidence, communicates with witnesses related to the scene and assist’s with laboratory and workshop examinations. Recently he has begun to draft reports to be used to liaise with other Fire Investigators.

On his off days, he is a Life Guard for the Sutherland Shire Beaches and competes in Triathlons and other Endurance Activities.