It is an immense privilege to represent our police family and charity across the Police Force and our community. There have been so many wonderful people met along the way, who inspire with their stories of strength and resilience in the face of adversity and tragedy, and proud policing professionals who are the genesis and reason for our charity.
Along the way, I’m often struck by the comments of appreciation that are offered to the charity, and the sentiments expressed which reassure us all that NSW Police Legacy continues to uphold the ethos that is our true purpose – to care for the police family.
In recent years we have seen the charity’s capacity to reach out extend to a greater proportion of the police family, as a result of the tireless work and efforts of many caring people, generous contributors, and sponsors, who are committed to recognising and honouring the legacy of our police officers, past, present and into the future.
Every now and then, it pays to reflect on some of the stories and successes of Police Legacy and the achievements of those within our special family. This month, our Newsletter highlights some of those.
I had the great privilege at our Kokoda Charity Golf Day to watch and listen to one of our young police legatees, Blake Brotherson, speak to a crowded room of golf tragics, and tell the story of what NSW Police Legacy meant to him as a young boy – growing up knowing of his father’s policing legacy, and being supported all these years later. Blake spoke with pride and fond memories of his journey with Police Legacy and has proven to be a wonderful role model. Blake is headed for Papua New Guinea with six other police legatees on our annual Police Legacy Kokoda Trek, a journey that he has looked forward to for several years and one he sees as the pinnacle experience of a young police legatee.
His story, like many before him and many following, is testament to the love, support and care of his mother and family, but also of the commitment of the police family to honour and remember the service and sacrifice of those taken too soon.
We’re also very proud to tell the story of Caitlin Robinson, who is in the middle of her studies and training at the NSW Police Academy, and in August will follow in her parents’ footsteps as a police officer. Caitlin and her mother, Annette, have been actively involved with NSW Police Legacy since joining our family in 2011. We’ve been part of Caitlin’s journey since she was a young teenager, and have watched her grow into the beautiful and caring person who will soon join the ranks of those who protect our community. We are so proud of her achievements.
The BACKUP for Life program has made significant inroads in fulfilling its goal to support former police officers. Awareness of the program is growing, engaging our former officers and providing real and tangible support that builds confidence and encouragement as they transition from the policing profession. The assistance offered through the Career Confidence Workshops and the Holistic Health and Wellbeing days has had real impact on those attending and has helped them take positive steps in setting future plans. These workshops are set to be conducted throughout the State and we’re encouraging people to become involved and take advantage of the programs.
We have some fantastic community-inspired fundraising events coming up in the next few months. In February, Senior Constables Jono Wright and Matt Foley were seriously injured at a random breath testing incident. The immediate concern and support from the community following the incident was outstanding, and continues with a special fundraising dinner in May. And again this year our police are generously supported by community leaders and businesses with the annual Remembrance Bike Ride to Canberra and later the Marconi Cycling Club’s Remembrance Cup.
All of these stories highlight the special sense of belonging that has become the true strength of our charity and encourages the continued growth of our work across the broader police family. The bonds and friendships, the desire to help and make a difference, has a uniqueness to the policing profession, and it’s that uniqueness that captivates the people who support Police Legacy.
From my perspective, being able to represent this wonderful police family and charity is never underestimated or taken for granted; most importantly, it’s a valued opportunity to continue the vision and work commenced many years ago to ensure our police families are always remembered.