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Friday, 3 December 2021
NSW Police Academy, Goulbourn
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC

I acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here this morning.

Premier, Ministers, Mr Mark Taylor,[1] Mrs Wendy Tuckerman,[2]Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners, Mayor, Officers, family and friends, and leaving the most important to last - Class 350.

Policing is about many things; you take your part in the administration of justice. It is about ethos and traditions, including family traditions, as daughters and sons follow fathers, siblings become colleagues.  It is a place where, at times, you will need a rock - in your family, in your friends, and in what is now your new family - the NSW Police Force.

Shortly, we will stand and applaud and honour this, your important first milestone in the NSW Police Force, as you parade past at the conclusion of this ceremony.  

But you had to get here first. As you have learned over the course of your study which has led you on to the parade ground this morning, modern policing is sophisticated, multi-disciplinary, highly professional and highly demanding. 

Given that by next week, you will be in your posts all over the State, facing the challenges that policing brings, and doing so, I suspect with a mixture of excitement and apprehension, I am going to suggest that amongst the many skills you need, the following skills - indeed, they are qualities of a very good police officer - will help you, not only in your first year but throughout your policing career.  

You need to be a good communicator.  The skill of a communicator is not only to deliver a message; it requires you to listen, to analyse, to question and to think.  Most of that has to be done almost simultaneously, so it is no easy task.  Perhaps it could be summed up with that very simple saying: ‘think before you act’.

Compassion and empathy should be intrinsic to you as a police officer.  However, as one police educator has explained, in situations where compassion is most needed, you still need to remain professional.

Next, and so obviously, comes integrity; integrity in big things and in little things – there is only one standard of integrity. 

And along with the strategic and analytical skills in which you have been trained, and which you will continue to acquire, never forget that a bucket-load of common sense comes in very handy in every policing activity you undertake.

Your training officers have already seen these qualities in you.  You would not be on the parade ground were it otherwise. They would also have observed you as you have demonstrated your adaptability as, along with school and tertiary students across the State, you have studied online and in lockdown. 

Thank you for your perseverance and, as I have said, your adaptability, qualities which will also keep you in good stead in the years ahead. 

As you now move into the Police Force, with responsibility for the safety of the community, I thank you for deciding to join the NSW Police Force.  Today is your day of celebration and of family pride.  Savour this moment. It is - and will remain - one of the most precious moments in your life.

Before concluding, I would like to congratulate the NSW Police Band which is marking its 125th anniversary.

This parade is also the last Attestation Parade of your Commissioner, Mick Fuller.  Commissioner, in announcing your retirement you observed that “it’s a job that requires enormous energy.”[3]  You have needed every ounce of your energy in leading the Force over the last five years. 

It has been, without doubt, a ‘herculean’ effort’ by you and your officers - during the natural disasters and the health crisis of the last two and a half years; whilst maintaining the efficiency and expertise of the Force in Crime Prevention and Crime Detection; dealing with highly organised criminal activity, as well as the sometimes sadder, but - too often -merely opportunistic offending which occurs on a daily basis in our community.  

Thank you, Mick, and thank you to your family. You have performed your duties at the highest level.

We will also miss the similarly calm leadership of Deputy Commissioner Worboys, as he moves into his well-earned retirement and former Detective Senior Constable Andrea Rodriguez.   Congratulations to each of you as we honour the successful completion of your distinguished careers,

Commissioner-Designate Karen Webb, congratulations.   You have a fine Force to lead including the graduates before us today - Class 350. 

To Class 350, we are here to honour you.  You have taken an oath to ‘well and truly serve’.  We, as a community, now place our trust in you. 

Congratulations, Class 350.

May you go well as you rise to the challenge.

[1] Parliamentary Secretary for Police & Justice

[2] State Member for Goulburn

[3] 2SM Radio Interview


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