Fallen police officers from Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will be honoured with touchstones on the National Police Memorial during today’s National Police Remembrance Day (NPRD) service.
Ten touchstones will be added to the memorial wall today and include the names of three police officers who lost their lives in the past 12 months.
Senior Constable David Masters of the Queensland Police Service, Senior Constable Kelly Foster of the New South Wales Police Force and Detective Senior Constable Michael James Cursiter of Western Australia Police Force will be honoured with touchstones at the National Police Memorial in Canberra.
Senior Constable Masters tragically lost his life when he was struck by a stolen motor vehicle as he attempted to conduct a road stop on the Bruce Highway at Burpengary, QLD on 26 June 2021; Senior Constable Foster lost her life while attempting to save the life of a member of the public who was drowning at the Wollangambe Canyon, NSW on 2 January 2021; and Detective Senior Constable Cursiter suffered a fatal heart attack following the pursuit of an offender in Perth, WA on 6 November 2020.
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said while the COVID-19 pandemic presented some challenges to hosting the event, it was vitally important families, friends and colleagues could honour the 808 officers whose names adorn the memorial wall.
“Today we honour our police colleagues who gave their lives in service to their communities and recognise the grief their loved ones carry.” Commissioner Kershaw said.
“Policing can be a very dangerous job and it asks a lot from us and our families, sometimes it asks for all that we can give. Those men and women who have made that sacrifice are remembered for their courage and determination in the face of that danger.”
A further seven touchstones to be added to the memorial today are for police officers who were killed or died protecting the community between 1829 and 1949 and are from Victoria Police, Western Australia Police Force and Tasmania Police.
- First Constable George Michael WILLIS – Victoria Police – Died 29 March 1949
- Constable Richard HUGHES – Western Australia Police Force – 15 June 1901
- Constable and Boatman Ferdinand Christopher HAUTH – Tasmania Police – Died 24 November 1869
- Constable William DOODIE – Tasmania Police – Died 18 March 1863
- Chief District Constable Edward RAINSFORD – Tasmania Police – Died 24 December 1854
- District Constable Michael BLACKBURNE – Tasmania Police – Died 8 May 1849
- Constable George LUCAS – Tasmania Police – Died 9 October 1829
The ceremony will take place with the approval of the ACT Chief Medical Officer. Due to ACT COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, no visitors are permitted at the event. Members of the public are encouraged to virtually attend the service via Vimeo livestream.