Staff profile - Martine Powell

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Prof Martine Powell

Position: Personal Chair
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Psychology
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92446106 +61 3 92446106



Martine Powell is a forensic psychologist and Professor in the School of Psychology at Deakin University. Her particular area of expertise is investigative interviewing (i.e., interviewing where the purpose is to elicit an accurate and detailed account of an event or situation). Professor Powell is one of the leading Australian authorities on the topic of eyewitness testimony in cases involving child abuse and sexual offences, and Founding Director of the Centre for Investigative Interviewing. The Centre supports one of the largest groups of investigative interviewing researchers and professionals in the world, and provides specialist resources, training and research facilities that develop interviewer competency, enable quality evaluation, and work to improve justice systems.

Click here to find out more about the Centre for Investigative Interviewing.

Professor Powell’s research is best described as practice-based; conducted in collaboration with industry partners to inform decisions about how to improve investigative and evidential interviewing. She has over 190 publications addressing four themes: analyses of child memory and language and the effectiveness of various interview techniques, development of strategies to promote transfer of learning from investigative interviewer training programs to the field, evaluations of criminal justice reforms related to abuse investigation, and methods of minimising the mental health impact of working in the area of child exploitation.


Research interests

  • Improving the evidential quality of witness interviews.
  • Understanding the relationship between child maltreatment and language competence.
  • The language skills of young offenders.
  • Evaluation of sexual offence reforms.
  • Improving the competency of investigative interviewers
  • Children's memory for repeated events.
  • The mental health impacts of working in the area of sexual assault investigation.

Research page

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