The Commissioned Police Officer’s Branch of the Police Association of NSW held its annual dinner for the first time in three years on Friday 5 August.
The attendees were dressed to the nine’s, with the Commissioned Officers outfitted in their mess dress with miniature medals while guests mingled in black-tie attire. In attendance were NSWPF esteemed guests including NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb APM, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon APM and NSW Police Assistant Commissioners Peter Cotter APM; Brett Greentree APM, Michael Fitzgerald APM, Dean Smith APM, Anthony Crandell APM, Rod Smith APM, Anthony Cooke APM and Rochelle Conroy.
We were also honoured to host The Hon Deputy Premier Paul Toole Minister for Police, The Leader of the Opposition The Hon. Chris Minns along with Crossbench MLCs The Hon Rod Robert (a former police officer) and Reverend Fred Nile. A mark of these VIP guests attending is the esteem this event and you as Commissioned Officers are held in.
The night’s Dining President and PANSW Executive member for Commissioned Officers Chief Inspector Matt Webb led the proceedings, welcoming guests. An honour roll was placed on each table for the guests to reflect upon and one minute of silence was observed to remember those Commissioned Officers who regretfully had passed since the last dinner was held.
While the guests enjoyed their meals, several official addresses were made.
In her first address to the Commissioned Officers Dinner, Commissioner of Police Karen Webb APM highlighted the significant role that the Commissioned Officers play in ensuring the success of the NSWPF, highlighting leadership, accountability, and responsibility – both to their fellow officers and the people of NSW. “Our success will rest on the dedication of our officers.” She said.
In his speech, Deputy Premier & Minister for Police, the Hon. Paul Toole recognised the role that police officers have played in “shepherding us through some of our darkest days” over the past few years, acknowledging all officers have gone above and beyond in the performance of their duties.
PANSW President Kevin Morton told the Commissioned Officers to enjoy their time together. He took the opportunity to make several important acknowledgments, including formally congratulating Ma’am Webb on her appointment as Commissioner and thanking the Deputy Premier for his role in securing the most recent pay rise. He congratulated all the officers who had been promoted through the new Police Promotions System, acknowledging Assistant Commissioners Leanne McCusker, Gavin Wood and Dean Smith for their role in making this a reality.
Recognised for 38 years of service, Chief Inspector Peter Scheinflug was acknowledged during a special watch presentation. With his march out occurring in July at Springwood Police Station, ‘Shiny’ was overwhelmed by the recognition and in a few quiet words urged his former colleagues to “keep the police family going”.
Guests of Honour and presenters for the night Gus Worland and Kath Koschel took to the stage to address the room. The founders of Gotcha4Life and the Kindness Factory shared their work in the mental health space, emphasizing the importance of mateship, social connection, emotional resilience and kindness. In a touching moment, all attendees were asked to send a heartfelt text to one of their top five people, letting them know they loved them, missed them and would see them soon. The responses received throughout the room ranged from hilarious to heartfelt, reinforcing the importance of reaching out and remaining connected in small gestures with the ones we love every day.
The event wouldn’t have been complete without the ceremony that has always made it such a special event. Towards the end of the evening, a decanter of port was piped to the Official Table. A series of loyal toasts were then undertaken, acknowledging the guests and retired officers and the staff who had made the event possible.
After a series of cancellations due to COVID, the night was a success, with close to 200 guests enjoying the dinner with colleagues, dignitaries, and staff. The PANSW organising committee thanks each guest for their attendance and looks forward to commencing planning for the 2023 Commissioned Officers dinner.