Q. Can you tell me about your career background?
I joined NSW Police in 1996 after serving in the Royal Australian Navy for six years. I’m a General Duties Sergeant, currently stationed in the Port Stephens Hunter Police District. In my 26 years in policing, I have served at Wollongong, Nowra, Huskisson, Sussex Inlet, Ulladulla, Walcha and now in Nelson Bay. I love the job, the people I get to work with and serving the community. Nothing makes me happier than contributing to the development of our junior police.
Q. What inspired you to become actively involved with the PANSW as a branch official?
I first became active in a branch in the late 90s in Nowra, helping negotiate the first FRA agreement. I recognised early on that getting involved in the branch was a proactive way to help our members and work with management to secure outcomes. I remained active in a variety of roles in all the branches I’ve been attached to.
In my early career, I recall meeting a member who was being made to walk to the second floor, up flights of stairs with his HOD knee problems. A poor decision was made by management that he could not work on the first floor. The branch achieved the sensible outcome of allowing the member not to have to walk the stairs. I’d like to think this wouldn’t occur in the modern era with the PANSW branches and staff advocating on behalf of our members.
Q. As an Executive member, what have been the most significant achievements while representing your region?
It’s been a privilege to represent Northern 1 for four years. The branches are strong and active. We have a good working relationship with our Commanders, the Region Commander, and the Region Staff.
Staffing increases in the Northern region have been life-changing and I’m very proud to have played a role in that.
In addition, during the Upper Hunter by-election, we secured a Government promise for a long-awaited upgrade to Singleton Police Station.
As Chair of the Welfare Committee, the assistance the PANSW has provided for members in times of need has been incredible. I feel privileged to have been involved.
Finally, I was incredibly proud to give a detailed statement to the IRC during the 1.75% wage win. The PANSW staff collated and presented an outstanding brief that secured an excellent win under challenging circumstances.
Q. What will be the biggest challenges facing our members in the year ahead?
Operationally, our members are facing more violence and more illegal weapons every shift. The organised crime warfare in Sydney is not receding, and our members will continue to encounter more volatile situations as result. I think the year ahead will present our members with more investigative challenges and exposure to these inevitable dangers. The PANSW will continue to be there to support our members whenever and wherever it can.
Q. What do you see as our biggest organizational priorities moving forward?
With our Award locked in for the next couple of years, the period following Conference will give us a chance to plan ahead. Our priorities will be around listening to our members, supporting our branches and planning a well-researched and nimble future campaign to benefit the membership.