Michael Forbes is a Fire Investigator attached to the Fire Investigation and Research Unit of Fire & Rescue New South Wales, with responsbilities to research and investigate the cause of specified fires to reduce the impact of fire on the community and to provide expert evidence for legal proceedings.
Michael has held the position of President since 2014.
Senior Vice President & Education Officer
Mark Pellegrino is an IAAI Certified Fire Investigator IAAI CFI (V) and an ANZIIF Senior Associate (CIP) at Firensics, a private forensic fire investigation firm based in Sydney NSW.
Since 2010, Mark has examined well over 1000 thermal incidents involving structures, motor vehicles, machinery, and watercraft. Mark incorporates his commercial and residential building knowledge, car enthusiast background, and forensic science and insurance qualifications into his fire examinations; providing origin and cause determinations for the insurance industry and related stakeholders, such as Police and the Coroner.
Mark has held the position of Education Officer since 2018 and his goal with the association is to deliver quality education to the membership. In 2021, Mark also took over the role of Senior Vice President.
Junior Vice President
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Forensic Science in Applied Chemistry degree from University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation from Charles Sturt University.
Aaron joined Fire Forensics as an intern in 2018 and is now a qualified fire investigator. Since the start of his career, Aaron has been involved in a range of fire and explosion investigations, including bushfires, heavy machinery, commercial buildings, domestic violence and criminal cases. He also been involved in a number of legal proceedings throughout his career.
Bob McKay is the Managing Director of McKay Investigation Services & McKay Forensic Investigations. Bob is a Certified Auto Theft Investigator (C.ATI) through the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, a Fire Investigation Technician, with Motor Vehicle specialist endorsement (FIT(V)), holds a Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation and is a Justice of the Peace in the State of New South Wales.
Bob is currently a member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, The NSW Association of Fire Investigators, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society and the United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigators.
Bob’s career began in December, 1980, initially as an Insurance Investigator. Since beginning his career Bob has investigated various matters, including workers’ compensation and public liability, products liability, professional indemnity, motor vehicle theft, fire and collision; break enter and steal and fire claims. Bob lectured in private investigation at the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE from 1990 to 2002. In 2017 Bob re-wrote the transport module of Charles Sturt Universities Graduate Diploma In Fire Investigation. In 2018 Bob was invited to present at the Fire In Vehicles Conference (FIVE 2018), held in Borás, Sweden, by the Research Institutes of Sweden.
Bob specialises in vehicle fire origin and cause investigation and has conducted in excess of 200 such investigations since January, 2016.
Treasurer & Webmaster
Sonia is currently a Fire & CAPI Licenced Factual Investigator with Shire Investigations & All Motor Vehicle Investigations providing factual and fire origin/cause determinations for the insurance industry and other various stakeholders. She was previously a Fire Investigator with Fire Forensics Pty Ltd, a Crime Scene Officer within Fingerprint Operations and Evidence Recovery Unit at NSW Police Force Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command, a Director of the Australian Institute of Forensic Fire Investigation Pty Ltd, and for a number of years, she was a Casual Academic at the University of Technology Sydney teaching a range of chemistry and forensic science subjects.
Sonia is also a current Committee Member of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Ethical Practices and Grievances Committee. She also holds the certifications NAFI-CFEI, IAAI-FIT and IAAI-ECT.
Grant is a Senior Technical Consultant with Envista Forensics based in Sydney. Grant’s career with fire investigations stems from involvement with large industrial fires and explosions (and other insurance related disaster events) throughout South East Asia from the mid 90’s, then the US in early 2000’s and more recently in Oceania since 2015. Most engagements involve insurance or legal related matters, but sometimes include investigations with product design liability issues.
Renzo Alessi is Fire, Factual and Mechanical Investigator of All Motor Vehicle Investigations (AMVI) and Shire Investigations. He has 37 years of experience working in the automotive industry with over 11 years in the vehicle/factual/fire investigation industry. He started out as a Mechanic for various vehicle manufacturers then moved into owning his own workshop. He then ventured into the investigation world and became a Licenced Investigator under the CAPI (Commercial and Private Inquiry) Agents Act where he investigated mainly general insurance matters in relation to vehicle and property fraud, which included fire cases. He obtained a Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation from Charles Sturt University and now is called upon as an expert Vehicle Examiner by a range of insurance companies, law firms, private clients as well as a specialist in the fire investigation industry. Renzo is a member of the NSW Association of Fire Investigators as well as the International Association or Arson Investigators. He is a Deputy Captain in the NSW Rural Fire Service and an accredited RMS Examiner in heavy and light vehicles. He is also a member of the Australasian and South Pacific Association of Collision Investigators and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators.
Mark Hamilton is a Detective for the New South Wales Police Force with 20 years experience. He currently works in the Property Crime Squad - Arson Unit and has been involved in the investigation of numerous fire investigations (structural and bushfire) including the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire in 2011, the Rozelle convenience fire in 2014 and the Warrambungle National Park Bushfire in 2013. Mark holds a Bachelor of Policing qualification and recently completed his Master of Arts (Fire Investigation) at CSU.
Shane is a Deputy Captain of the NSW Rural Fire Service & Fire Investigator and is attached to the Fire Investigation and Compliance Unit. He has 35 years of experience as a fire fighter and trainer, with 14 years experience as a Fire Investigator. He has completed hundreds of fire investigations in Wildfire and Structural investigations since completing training both within the NSW RFS and through Charles Sturt University and works closely with Police. Besides his duties conducting Fire Investigations, he mentors other RFS trainee Fire Investigators.