House debates

Monday, 30 August 2021


National Police Remembrance Day

11:56 am

Photo of David SmithDavid Smith (Bean, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I also rise to support the motion of the members for Fowler and Cowper in relation to National Police Remembrance Day. The mask I wear in parliament today is one that I have from the Australian Federal Police Association. It's representative of a long connection I have with our local police. Before I entered federal politics I worked in the labour movement for more than a decade, including as industrial relations manager with the Australian Federal Police Association. I relished my time with the AFPA and got a much better understanding of the diverse and complex range of responsibilities, from community policing in a fast-growing city to counterterrorism, forensics, cybercrime, international deployments and protection services both here and abroad. I came to appreciate the enormous risk and stress that many of our police members are under both here and abroad. Sadly, during that time, this included the loss of members' lives.

This year we remember 10 officers who have lost their lives across our police services. We remember their families. This year we also recognise the extraordinary additional work done by our police services in relation to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Police Week 2021 will be held across the country from Saturday 18 September and conclude on 29 September, National Police Remembrance Day. Because of many of the challenges of COVID, many of the events that would typically occur will not be able to go ahead in the same way. It is hoped we are still able to have the national service here later in September. It's worth reminding members that there are opportunities to support Police Legacy and that those efforts are really important given that those opportunities are limited because many of the events won't go ahead in the same way.

I continue to welcome the opportunity to meet with members of the AFPA and the Police Federation of Australia and their members to ensure that the concerns that affect them in their working lives are raised here in this parliament. I'm mindful of the value of the importance of maintaining that regular and close contact with those whose daily work places them at the front line of policing and security. I'm committed to working cooperatively with the association and its members to strengthen the AFP's capability to deal with the significant challenges we face.

This motion particularly relates to those 10 officers who lost their lives over the last year. In that time when I worked for the AFPA, I knew that policing came with a degree of risk—a degree of risk which, thankfully, most members of the community will never have to face. Through my involvement post that AFPA involvement, I came to understand that it takes a special type of person with a special type of courage to commit to wearing the police uniform. We are truly indebted to the men and women who choose to do so.

This year we particularly remember Senior Constable Masters and his family.


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