AFP officer posthumously awarded for his service in Solomon Islands

AFP Protective Service Officer Adam Dunning, who was shot and killed while on patrol in Solomon Islands in 2004, has been posthumously awarded four medals commemorating his service and sacrifice for Australia and the Pacific region.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw recently presented PSO Dunning’s mother and father with the medals and a framed Plaque of Appreciation from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at a ceremony in Canberra.

Commissioner Kershaw said the posthumous awards highlighted the importance of PSO Dunning’s contribution through his service to the AFP, RSIPF, Solomon Islands and Australia.

“The AFP lost a courageous and professional young officer, and the people of Australia and the Solomon Islands lost a dedicated young man committed to serving Australia and the Pacific Islands, with his colleagues,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“Adam died for peace, law and order. These new awards reinforce our commitment to ensuring his work and untimely death will always be remembered by his colleagues in the Australian Federal Police and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.”

The highly-decorated officer joined the AFP in 2003 and was deployed as a member of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2004.

In the early hours of 22 December 2004, PSO Dunning, who was 26 years old, was on patrol in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara with another officer when he was shot and killed.

His remains were repatriated to Australia and he was given a funeral with full police honours at Duntroon Chapel, Canberra.

AFP Honours and Awards has been working closely with Government House and the RSIPF to ensure PSO Dunning’s eligibility for these latest awards.

Following this process, he has been awarded the National Medal, which recognises 15 years’ uniformed service to Australia. PSO Dunning had served in the Royal Australian Air Force before joining the AFP. This service included time in East Timor as part of Operations Warden and Stabilise for which his unit was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation.

He has also been posthumously awarded the AFP Protection Medal, as recognition for what would have been 10 years cumulative service in a protection function for the AFP.

The RSIPF also posthumously awarded PSO Dunning with two awards following written correspondence between Commissioner Kershaw and RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau.

He has been granted the RSIPF Medal for Excellence and the International Law Enforcement Cooperation (ILEC) medal.

The ILEC medal was created to recognise international law enforcement participation in Solomon Islands, including during RAMSI.

PSO Dunning’s untimely death after 115 days in the country resulted in him not meeting the eligibility requirement of 180 days in mission.

The RSPIF agreed and deemed him eligible based on the assumption he would have served the 180 days if not murdered.

The concept of deeming a fallen member’s service as eligible for service awards is a tradition observed to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty and is practiced in the AFP Service Medal criteria.

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