About NeuroForensics

NeuroForensics understands the relevance of neuropsychology to people involved in criminal and civil legal proceedings and the heightened risk of forensic issues in individuals with neurological damage. We understand the need for clinicians across both areas of scope: Forensic Psychologists who have an in-depth understanding of neuropsychology (beyond IQ) and how injury may affect an individual’s behaviour; and Clinical Neuropsychologists who have the expertise necessary to address the psychosocial complexities faced by people involved in legal proceedings.

Our clinicians hold qualifications in Clinical Neuropsychology and Forensic Psychology with Ahpra PsyBA endorsements in these areas; these are protected titles that cannot be used by psychologists or anyone without Board-approved qualifications (link to PsyBA areas of practice endorsement). Our knowledge is up to date and we use best practice methods and scientifically validated tools. We ensure expertise of opinion in matters relating to forensic and neuropsychology and their crossover, for example legal matters involving individuals with head injuries in both criminal and civil contexts.

NeuroForensics provides:

  • Objective, highly skilled comprehensive assessments, enabling best outcomes for customers and their clients. For legal personnel this may mean provision of important client information to assist court decisions. For insurers and direct employers this may mean efficient use of funds or support services to settle claims, or assist their clients return to work;
  • Clear communication throughout, from referral to provision of report, including assisting clients to ensure referral is appropriate and questions are targeted to meet their objectives;
  • Reports that are comprehensive, with individual and targeted opinions and recommendations;
  • Timely provision of reports, in general within two weeks of assessment date;
  • Guaranteed assessment by qualified clinicians with endorsements in Forensic Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology.

Dr Melissa Hughes

Clinical Neuropsychologist and Forensic Psychologist.

My long-term interest in explaining brain-behaviour relationships, particularly in individuals involved in legal matters and the associated complexities, led me to complete a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology with forensic specialisation at Monash university. I have worked as an Early Career Researcher in neuroscience and forensic-related issues and concurrently as a Clinical Neuropsychologist seeing clients involved in the criminal justice system. Due to my unusual combination of skills, I was given a unique opportunity for further development working as a Forensic Neuropsychologist in Ontario, Canada, at the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH). I currently work in Sydney as both director and clinician at NeuroForensics.

I have (local, interstate and international) experience working in various settings including government, non-government, hospitals, prisons, and community, providing high quality, impartial expert opinion and reports, and acting as an expert witness in NSW courts and tribunals. This broad experience base has given me a solid understanding of the operation of numerous aspects of psychology, and the adaptability to work with different clinicians in various fields. I have skills in assessment (psychological, forensic, neuropsychological and their combination) of clients with complex histories, including multiple brain trauma, forensic and substance issues, and associated difficulties including mood and personality issues. I am committed to expanding community awareness of brain injury including risks, consequences, identification, and management planning, and provide training to a range of professionals, practitioners and community groups who work with clients with cognitive impairments.

I supervise students and colleagues in clinical neuropsychology and forensic psychology, peer review articles for academic journals, and sit on professional boards and committees (current appointments listed below).

Academic Qualifications:

  • Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology), Forensic Specialisation, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Arts-Psychology (First Class Hons.), Macquarie University

(Current) Professional Memberships:

  • Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority (AHPRA) Psychology Board of Australia (PBA)
    • Clinical Neuropsychology and Forensic Psychology Endorsements (Endorsement by the PsyBA is awarded to those practitioners who hold specialist qualifications and experience in the identified area of practice – link to PsyBA)
    • PsyBA-approved supervisor
  • Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Law (ANZAPPL)

(Recent) Professional Appointments:

  • Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) National Committee, NSW Practitioner Member
  • State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Authorised Health Practitioner Panel
  • ANZAPPL National Committee, Assistant Secretary
  • NeuroForensics

Contact me for a full copy of CV (0447 843 615 or mhughes@neuroforensics.com.au)