Reception in Honour of Queensland Police Service Personnel
It is a great honour and pleasure for Kaye and me to welcome to Government House this evening representatives from all levels of the Queensland Police Service, and from all over the State. I particularly acknowledge Commissioner Ian Stewart APM and members of his Senior Executive.
After a long career as a lawyer and judge, I am very much aware of the highly challenging and often dangerous work that QPS personnel do in safeguarding our communities.
There was no more sombre reminder of the dangers involved than when Kaye and I were yesterday privileged to lay a wreath to mark National Police Remembrance Day, in one of many ceremonies held to honour police officers killed in the line of duty.
As Governor, I am also reminded of the dedication and courage of QPS officers when I present Australian Police Medals, and bravery awards, as I did last week.
But those special awards aside, I make a point this evening of recognising and acknowledging the marvellous work of all QPS officers who serve their communities with great dedication in a wide range of roles.
It is impossible to capture even a representative sample in a few words, but I will mention community engagement, special task forces, security during major events like the G20, crucial roles during natural disasters, and even being excellent Aides-de-Camp to the Governor of the day.
The work can involve risky, high-adrenalin operations, dull routine, and everything in between. It can be unpleasant and distressing. It requires patience, perseverance – of which the Brett Cowan and Gerard Baden Clay cases are prominent examples – integrity, courage, and many other admirable qualities. I imagine a sense of humour is handy too.
The challenges you face are great and ever-changing, with the cyber world as the most recent arena for criminal behaviour.
I was immensely impressed, visiting Police Headquarters last Friday, as your Governor, to see your embrace of the technology – as I said at the time, greatly reassuring to 99.9% of the population.
I do believe, though you may be sometimes sceptical, that all decent Queenslanders – and that is most of us, deeply appreciate the work and dedication of the officers of the QPS; and I believe we all do appreciate the risk you daily encounter, in these remarkably confronting days, where to murder, rape and robbery we add “ice”, domestic violence and “road rage”.
How appalling that those last three descriptors should have come to stigmatise this era. Your resilience in adapting to the exponentially awful depredations of society is superb.
But as the Commissioner reminded me last Friday, and of course I agree, this is overall an optimistic and progressive community, which while dependent on you, is certainly also very proud of you.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, and with Kaye, I thank you for continuing to meet, to our great benefit, the challenges of law enforcement in Queensland in the 21st century.
We wish you success in your endeavours and a safe return home at the end of each working day.
It has been a highlight, for Kaye and for me, to have the honour, and occasion, to welcome you all here tonight at your Government House. When I say “your” Government House, I also note in passing that our wonderful Government House florist has herself recognised the QPS by theming the House flower arrangements to reflect the QPS colours.
Thank you all.