Twelve members of the Queensland Police Service were today awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) in recognition of their astonishing contribution to policing.
Announced twice a year, on Australia Day and the King’s Birthday, the APM is awarded for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police agency, after being nominated by Commissioners of each policing jurisdiction.
Acting Police Minister Mark Furner and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll today congratulated 12 officers from the QPS who were awarded the APM. “We don’t join the Service for any accolades, but each of these officers is deserving of this recognition for the work they’ve done across the span of their careers,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“The recipients are dedicated officers of the QPS who are committed to keeping Queenslanders safe. I congratulate and thank each and every one of them.”
This year’s recipients come from a range of backgrounds with diverse experience, having served throughout Queensland in several roles and areas.
Commissioner Carroll said officers had been recognised for the leadership, innovation and the initiative they had displayed during their duty.
“Each officer has their own story – often comprised of the challenges they’ve faced and overcome through their career, but also the rewarding memories about the role they’ve played in their communities and the lives of everyday Queenslanders,” she said.
“I am incredibly proud to know and understand the impact these officers have in shaping a positive future for individuals they interact with, the communities they serve and our organisation.
“I congratulate them for receiving this significant honour today.”
Minister Furner said each officer should be incredibly proud of this recognition and what it represented.
“To each of the 12 officers recognised today, I extend a heartfelt congratulations,” Minister Furner said.
“We thank you for your dedicated service and for looking after our community with the highest level of professionalism and respect.
“I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on your achievements and your career to recognise all that you’ve given to your community and to the people of Queensland.”
All recipients will be presented with their APM at an upcoming ceremony.
This year the recipients from the QPS are:
Detective Sergeant Katrina Carr commenced with the QPS in 1994 at Upper Mount Gravatt Police Station, where she later became a qualified detective. Detective Sergeant Carr currently serves as an Education and Training Officer at the Queensland Police Academy, where she’s committed to developing and delivering training on trauma informed responses to sexual assaults and domestic violence to detectives. In her spare time, she volunteers for TREK2HEALTH, a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing support for veterans and first responders to maintain their physical and mental health.
Inspector Ryan Clark commenced with the QPS in 2001 at Surfers Paradise Police Station before filling roles as a Major Events Planning Officer and Intelligence and Strategy Coordinator. He is currently serving as Support Services Inspector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the response to managing the 17 border points into Queensland via the Gold Coast to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while also maintaining accessibility for local communities and emergency services. Inspector Clark’s management also ensured officers were adequately supported and resourced throughout this challenging period.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Dabinett began his service in 1982 at Toowoomba Police Station before serving in a range of specialist roles across Brisbane, Mount Isa and state-level Commands. He has established himself as an energetic leader with a record of implementing improvements in all work units he’s led, earning the respect of those he leads, other government departments and community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Superintendent Dabinett built a multi-agency team to manage the complex environment of international and domestic borders before he was promoted to Acting Assistant Commissioner and Overall Operations Commander of the QPS’s COVID-19 operations. He positively influenced outcomes and was influential in delivering strategic policy and operational direction for the State’s overall response to COVID-19.
Inspector Leonie Fordyce commenced with the QPS in 1995 at Ipswich Police Station before later moving to Emerald. She has served as a Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Facilitator at the Queensland Police Academy, Principal Strategy Officer, Parliamentary Liaison Officer and Manager, as well as a Project Officer within the Domestic and Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Command. Inspector Fordyce was recently appointed permanently to the Command where she provides leadership and guidance in enhancing the QPS’s capability to prevent and respond to domestic and family violence and harm to vulnerable persons.
Chief Superintendent William Graham began his service in 1983 at Mackay Police Station before serving at Dalby, Toowoomba and Cunnamulla. In 2004, he was promoted to Commissioned rank and served as Operation Manager of the State Intelligence Group, Patrol Inspector, Regional Duty Officer, Manager of Fortitude Valley’s Safe Night Precinct and Drug and Alcohol Unit. Chief Superintendent Graham currently serves as the District Officer of South Brisbane District after serving as Operations Commander of the Security and Counter Terrorism Command during the world’s heightened security environment. He demonstrates exceptional leadership across operational environments and has an outstanding commitment to the community of Queensland during his diverse career. He is also recognised for his integrity and resourcefulness in operational planning, organisational improvement, policy development and his commitment to enhancing capability.
Superintendent Craig Huxley commenced with the QPS in 1984 in Brisbane. He received his detective appointment and served in a number of investigative roles in district-based and specialist units. During the COVID-19 pandemic instrumental in coordinating the state-wide response to COVID-19 as the Commander of Task Force Sierra Linnet, as well as the Overall Deputy Commander, QPS Operations for COVID-19. He provided essential leadership and guidance for the QPS COVID-19 disaster response, working tirelessly to support the whole-of-government effort to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Queensland.
Senior Sergeant John McArthur began his service with the QPS in 1985 and has served at Cairns, Innisfail, Kowanyama, Coen, Aurukun and Normanton. He is currently Officer in Charge of Cooktown Police Station. He is an outstanding and inspirational leader, dedicating his career to policing in regional and remote areas across Far North Queensland. His has established positive relationships with leaders of First Nations communities. During his service he has also delivered unwavering leadership during disaster events, operational challenges and critical incidents, including Cyclones Nathan and Ita, and the 2020 Cooktown bushfires. He has gained a well-earned reputation as a selfless, community-minded leader focused on reducing domestic violence, rural, property and violence offences across the Cooktown Division.
Detective Senior Sergeant David Miles commenced with QPS in 1987 Mount Isa and Burketown before embarking on a career as an Investigator. He is currently the Officer in Charge of the Townsville Child Protection Investigation Unit where his expertise and relationship building skills are well regarded by the senior executive of the QPS. His frank and fearless advice through an operational lens comes from the considerable experience he holds in the field of child protection. Detective Senior Sergeant Miles has been instrumental in developing the Townsville Child Protection and Investigation Unit into a motivated, functional, innovative, and effective operational unit that provides an invaluable service to the Townsville community. He also represents the Service on multi-agency panels and provides sound advice to the Youth Justice Taskforce.
Superintendent Rhys Newton started with the QPS in 1983 at Mareeba Police Station, then Smithfield Police Station before becoming the Officer in Charge of the Innisfail Police Station. He is currently District Officer of the Far North District. He has exemplified the highest commitment to service and professionalism during a policing career, illustrating a commitment to excellence and a genuine desire to develop those he leads, and support the communities he serves. He continues to actively champion the highest levels of service delivery to First Nations and remote communities in Northern and Far North Queensland. Superintendent Newton’s inclusive leadership has built genuine respect and empowerment for people of all backgrounds. It has been the cornerstone of many successful projects, negotiations and positive outcomes for his local community.
Senior Sergeant George Shand began service with the QPS 1996 at Mareeba Police Station before moving to Brisbane. He is currently serving as Senior State Disaster Management Operations Officer, Disaster Management Unit. Since 2011, he has been integral to disaster related response activities, including his role as Command Coordinator, managing the State Disaster Coordination Centre (SDCC) on behalf of the Commander across 30 major disaster events. During the COVID-19 pandemic he provided essential leadership and guidance for the whole-of-government effort to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Queensland. Senior Sergeant Shand was pivotal in ensuring SDCC were able to effectively plan and ensure the role of QPS, with support from the Australian Defence Force.
Detective Senior Sergeant Vanessa Wiseman was sworn in as a police officer in 1993 and currently serves as Officer in Charge of the Gold Coast’s Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit. Throughout her career, she has mentored, educated, supported and motivated officers, in work environments that can pose physical and psychological challenges, including child death, trauma and offences against vulnerable persons. Detective Senior Sergeant Wiseman is well respected in the Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons’ sector, and her opinions and views are sought from a range of key executives across government and support organisations. She has a genuine passion for the protection of vulnerable persons and is a leader in this field for Queensland.
Superintendent Bradley Wright began his service in 1986 in Brisbane. He also served on the Gold Coast before becoming the Operations Manager for the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Explosive Ordinance Response Team (EORT). He is currently the Operational Support Commander of the Specialist Response Group (SRG) and has made a significant contribution to the QPS and government in the areas of security, counter terrorism and emergency response. He has had longstanding involvement with the national security framework and has directed large counter terrorism exercises. In the 2011 flood event in the Lockyer Valley (Grantham), he led a small group of police and volunteers and other onsite resources during the immediate aftermath of the first flood event. He coordinated the rescue of over 100 people in distress, as well as the recovery of several deceased persons. His positive leadership and actions resulted in a range of positive mentions in the final report of the 2015 Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was Operations Commander, Strategic Command Group and Rapid Response Coordination, COVID-19 Command and Taskforce Sierra Linnet. Superintendent Wright also led the Strategy and Coordination Team for the Queensland Vaccine Operations Coordinator, playing a pivotal role in ensuring success of the rollout of the Queensland Vaccination Program.