Queensland Police Service Academy (Brisbane) Induction Parade for Graduating Students
Minister Ryan, Commissioner Stewart, service leaders, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, and our graduating Officers joined together today by proud families and friends.
I at once also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Jagera people.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you all on this highly significant State occasion, and in doing so I continue vice-regal association with the Academy.
The Academy was officially opened by Queensland’s 19th Governor, Sir Colin Hannah, in 1972, and a proud succession of Governors have since attended graduation ceremonies.
Like the constitutionally enshrined Office of the Governor, and the Supreme and District Courts, the all-but constitutionally enshrined Queensland Police Service is integral to what we term the “peace, order and good government” of the people; the QPS has been integral to good government since its inception back in 1864, with Acting Commissioner David Seymour at the helm.
It is likely that Mr Seymour knew all the then 287 officers by name, something which, with over 11,800 Officers, may be a stretch nowadays accounting even for the sterling leadership of our current Commissioner!
Rather unlike the position with those first Officers a century and a half ago, today’s constabulary has a conspicuously higher public profile. And the Service is subject, we must say rightly, to intense public scrutiny in all its actions. And that accountability, willingly accepted by the Service, actually enhances the esteem in which it is held.
I believe the Queensland people, the wonderful people I am so honoured to represent, hold our Police Service in very high regard.
Upholding that high regard, graduates, is now entrusted to you, a responsibility which I am sure you willingly undertake.
Now it is a fact that public confidence in all our institutions – the Courts, the Police, the Parliament, indeed the Office of the Governor – is inherently fragile. Maintaining that confidence militates constant dedicated adherence to our oaths and affirmations, and to our duty.
I can assure you that the many interactions I have already had as Governor with Queensland Police Officers – from Thursday Island and Bamaga in the north, to Birdsville and Goondiwindi in the south, and many places in between, including the Water Police in Hervey Bay – these exchanges have left me with great confidence in our QPS.
And we must, all of we Queenslanders, acknowledge, and acknowledge regularly, the risks to which our Police Officers are daily subject, and do so with a feeling of immense gratitude to them and to their supportive families.
Graduates: today you are now all part of the fine institution which is the Queensland Police Service. I warmly wish you every success in your policing careers, and thank you for your commitment to this vitally important public service.
I am sure the Commissioner will not mind my disclosing that I effectively invited myself today. I indicated last year a particular interest in attending, and he graciously obliged.
Kaye and I have an enormous basic respect for the QPS; and in addition, while in my previous role as Chief Justice, we were very well tendered by Police Officers in some regrettably emergent situations.
Accordingly, it has personally been important for me as Governor, to acknowledge the QPS very publicly today, and in circumstances so important to the graduates. Thank you.