All our workplace investigators are highly experienced and qualified to undertake thorough, procedurally fair investigations and can provide useful insight into potential contributing factors to complaints. iHR Australia investigators remain impartial throughout the process and are equipped with the skills to deal sensitively with the parties involved.
Workplace investigations are supervised by iHR Australia’s Director of Workplace Relations and Senior Investigator, John Boardman.
John Boardman is iHR Australia’s Director of Workplace Relations and has an extensive background in human resource management and industrial relations. He possesses high order analytical understanding, the proven ability to assess strategic options, and strong negotiating, advocacy and presentation skills. John has over 30 years’ experience in human resource management, many of which have been at senior executive level.
John is a competent ‘hands-on’ technician and has researched, prepared and conducted complex cases before both State and Federal tribunals. John has also provided advice to employers throughout major industrial relations disputes.
John has extensive experience in conducting independent workplace investigations into allegations of bullying and harassment, and has conducted major investigations across a broad range of industries. John also possesses significant experience in mediation and dispute resolution and has worked with a variety of organisations and workers at varying levels to assist in restoring appropriate working relationships.
John co-facilitates iHR Australia’s Workplace Investigation Officer Training around Australia.
As the head of iHR Australia’s investigations team, John reviews all reports and oversees all investigations to ensure a highly conscientious and consistent approach is applied.
Karen Streckfuss specialises in human resources, employment/industrial relations law. Karen has appeared in Courts and Tribunals as well as advising clients on all aspects of their cases including legal/contract entitlements, general written advice and settlement outcomes.
Karen’s earlier career in sales and marketing brings a practical and commercial approach when working with her clients.
Karen has acted as a mediator in a number of employment disputes as well as representing clients at mediation.
Karen has delivered training for clients in sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace policy compliance and can provide practical advice on all aspects of workplace change and restructure.
Karen holds a Masters of Laws, Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Bachelor of Arts and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Karen is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator with the Victorian Bar.
With over 30 years’ experience in HR/IR management and consultancy, Dr. Verena Marshall is adept at providing clients with strategic advice and operational support towards sound management policies and practice.
Verena has worked in both private companies and public sector organisations, including industries such as government, higher education and health and has conducted investigations within all of these sectors.
Verena has taught MBA students in the areas of strategic HR, employee relations and risk and safety management. Her particular areas of expertise are workplace relations, employment law, and occupational health and safety (OHS) law.
In addition to her PhD in Performance Management and MBA, Verena is legally trained, holding a Juris Doctor of Law, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Graduate Certificate of Migration Law and has been admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW.
Anton Duc has practiced in workplace relations since 1993. He has represented employers in the NSW and Federal jurisdiction in the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW, the Fair Work Commission (and its predecessors) and in various courts including the Federal Magistrates Court.
As a barrister, Anton has a unique and practical insight into how the law applies to issues that have the potential to be litigated, which is common in the bullying and discrimination sphere.
Anton has worked for a variety of employer organisations and law firms and has advised both large and small employers. He has also worked as a Human Resource Manager in hospitality and defence industries, dealing with counselling and discipline, investigations, planning of resource needs and dealing with unions.
He has been involved in all aspects of workplace relations including drafting contracts of employment, advising on terms and conditions of employment, litigating unfair dismissals and unfair contracts, workplace health and safety and enterprise agreements. Anton has also had extensive experience in investigating workplace bullying and harassment claims, including sexual harassment and discrimination claims.
Anton holds a barrister’s practicing certificate and specialises in employment law.
Dr. Leigh Hodder is an experienced consultant, workplace mediator and investigator who has also trained internal investigators at various organisations. Alongside her skills in coaching, mediation and training, Leigh is a consulting psychologist with over 20 years’ experience.
She has provided investigation and consulting services to organisations of various sizes and has worked in a wide range of industries including the government, not for profit and private sectors. In providing services to organisations, Leigh has gained valuable skills in negotiating with unions and has the required insight and analytical ability to conduct in-depth investigations while following the principles of procedural fairness.
Leigh has conducted over 700 workplace mediations across a variety of industries since commencing mediation practice in 1996. She is a preferred workplace intervention supplier to Queensland Government departments and conducted her Honours Thesis on the mediation process with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (QLD).
Her current activities include conducting independent workplace and safety incident investigations, organisational culture development partnering, team dynamics diagnostics, team and individual coaching and mediation for various clients.
Leigh is a qualified and experienced Mediator, Victim/Offender Community Conference Convenor and Trainer/Assessor. She is also a member of the Australian Psychological Society, a registered Medicare Provider and Work Cover (Queensland) Provider.
Charles White has worked in a range of senior workplace relations and human resources positions over the past 30 years. He was Human Resources Director at the Federal Court of Australia from 1999 – 2015 where he led a team undertaking all workplace relations and human resources work. This included providing specialist advice to the Court’s judges and executive on internal workplace relations and people management issues.
Charles has also worked for a range of other public and private sector organisations where, among other things, he streamlined a range of human resources policies and practices.
Charles has the ability to translate complex and contentious workplace issues into practical, easy-to-understand advice and reports. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in the Australian Financial Review and the Australian Human Resources Institute magazine.
Charles has extensive experience in workplace investigations, both in the Court and in previous roles, in particular as the Australian Public Service Board’s manager of Grievances and Appeals in NSW.
His qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of Labour Law and Relations, both from Sydney University.
Costa is an experienced workplace relations practitioner having also previously practised as a lawyer for over 25 years.
Costa has acted as in-house legal counsel for peak employer organisations, has practised as a Senior Associate in the workplace relations departments of reputable mid-tier law firms and provided consultancy services across the entire spectrum of workplace relations issues. Costa has acted in numerous unfair dismissal matters, general protections applications, anti-bullying proceedings as well as discrimination, equal opportunity and sexual harassment disputes.
Costa has conducted complex workplace investigations into a variety of workplace disputes and complaints and has prepared comprehensive investigation reports. He has successfully mediated workplace disputes and has direct experience working within the human resources area of an international educational institution. His skills and years of experience in a diverse range of environments place Costa in a unique position to provide his services in an effective and efficient manner.
Costa holds a Baccalaureus Procurationis Law Degree. He was admitted to practise as an Attorney of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1993 and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2002.
Paula Bruce is a workplace dispute resolution expert. Since 1999, she has worked conscientiously to support organisations achieve conflict resolution both through models of early intervention such as mediation, education and collaboration and by providing workplace behaviour reviews/audits and investigations when necessary.
Paula is an investigator, mediator, researcher, coach and trainer. Paula’s experience is with commonwealth, state and local government, public and private hospitals, aged care providers and organisations such as airlines and hotel groups. Her past experience includes the development, management and delivery of a national workplace dispute resolution service for a large Employment Assistance Program (EAP). She has extensive experience undertaking investigations and working with parties in addressing allegations of bullying and harassment.
Paula has delivered training for clients in Bullying and Harassment, Resilience, Mediation and models of collaborative issue resolution for teams, managers and HR personnel. Her dedication and commitment to developing best practice includes undertaking research relating to high conflict relationships, culturally reflexive dispute resolution and challenges to mediation in Australian workplaces.
She has tertiary qualifications in law, psychology, mediation and management and maintains a NSW practicing certificate as a solicitor. She is a panel member with NSW Law Society and has developed pilot mediation programs for Local, District and Federal Magistrates Courts.
Graeme Sharp is based in Christchurch, New Zealand and has over 30 years’ human resources experience, specialising in HR advice, policy development and organisational development for a wide range of clients ranging from multi-national corporations, government departments to small business enterprises.
He was a Director for 15 years at The New Zealand Institute of Management (NZIM) Executive Staff Course, recognised as the premier management and professional development programme in New Zealand. He also conducted the programme in Fiji and Australia.
Graeme is well known for his practical pragmatic approach to solving employment issues whilst observing cultural norms. Graeme is recognised for solving employment relations issues and has significant experience in workplace mediation and dispute resolution. Graeme’s innovative thinking, strategic skills and ability to develop excellent communication lines and relationships with clients makes Graeme a much sought after consultant.
Graeme was elected to the Board of the NSW State Chamber of Commerce and was also Chairman of their Industrial Relations and Employment Committee. These roles also required Graeme to represent the Chamber on the NSW Consular and Diplomatic group and act as an advocate to both State and Federal Governments.
Mary Crean is a specialist in Workplace Investigations. Adept in providing advice post investigation, she is able to assist in managing the workplace after the inevitable disruption of an investigation, providing solutions and recommendations going forward.
Mary has conducted investigations all over South East Queensland for Local Government, not for profit organisations, multi-national companies as well as small medical practices and is very proud of the way she has helped improve long established poor workplace cultures to mitigate future workplace conflicts for many organisations.
After thirteen successful years at the English Bar practising in Crime, Family and Civil Law Mary emigrated to Queensland were she undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Law at University of Queensland and was admitted as a Solicitor in 2010. Since that time Mary has worked in State and Local Government as well as private enterprise.
Karen Hermann is an experienced workplace relations legal practitioner with a background working for leading private law firms, industry associations and government departments at Federal and State level. Karen has substantial experience in providing technical, strategic and practical advice on a broad range of workplace relations matters including employment, discrimination, human resources and migration law matters.
Karen has significant experience in representing clients in mediations and conciliations before relevant Tribunals, and managing sensitive and complex employment and discrimination litigation in a range of jurisdictions.
Karen has also delivered training for clients in employment, discrimination and workplace policy compliance and on managing overseas workers.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Bachelor of Arts and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Karen is also a registered Migration Agent.
Marie has worked in the field of workplace relations and employment law for more than twenty years with ASX100 companies, trade unions and major law firms in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. She has advised on and led employee relations strategy, organisational change and case management of complex individual employment matters in diverse industries, including finance, energy, retail, stevedoring, oil, supply chain and manufacturing.
As an experienced Workplace Relations practitioner, Marie has built a reputation for enabling HR and operational management to implement constructive solutions to workplace challenges. She has advised senior executive teams and boards on strategic approaches to workplace relations, including major change involving closures, automation and business acquisitions, as well as leading sensitive investigations into executive behaviour. Marie coaches enterprise-bargaining negotiation teams, assisting them to develop successful bargaining strategies and practices. She also provides guidance on the appropriate management of employee under-performance, adverse action matters, employees suffering long-term illnesses and allegations of bullying or harassment.
In addition to her certification in change management and leadership performance, Marie is a qualified lawyer, admitted as a legal practitioner in the High Court of Australia, holds a first class Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts, (Politics) as well as a Master’s degree in Law and Management from the University of NSW.
Dr Helen Sitlington has over 25 years’ experience as a Human Resources and Employment Relations practitioner and is a Certified Practitioner with the Australian Human Resource Institute. She has worked within organisations as HR Director and spent over 10 years as an academic with Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities. She currently consults in Employment Relations, Strategic HR and Organisational Development. Helen is a qualified Investigator and Mediator, holding Certificates in Mediation and Conciliation, Investigation Services and Government Investigations. She is a Licenced Investigator under the Security and Related Activities Control Act (WA).
Helen regularly conducts inquiries and investigations on behalf of not-for-profit organisations, government departments and private companies. She regularly investigates workplace bullying, harassment, serious misconduct, unprofessional behaviour, employee grievances and external complaints.
Helen has high level understanding and excellent knowledge of HR management and employment relations issues, including extensive experience interpreting and implementing legislation. Throughout her career, Helen has been involved in major organisational change resulting from changing strategic priorities, financial pressures and new service delivery requirements. She is therefore familiar with challenging and changing environments and is a skilled change agent.
Helen holds a PhD in Human Resource Management researching the impact of organisational restructuring and downsizing and has published widely. She also holds MBA and Bachelor of Science degrees. Helen is currently the WA State President of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).
iHR Australia also offers Workplace Investigation related training: