***As delivered by NSW Police Force Commissioner Michael Fuller at Lithgow Uniting Church: ***.
Kelly Ann Foster served the New South Wales Police Force and the community of New South Wales with outstanding dedication and devotion to duty until her unexpected passing as a result of her attempts to save the life of a drowning victim within the Wollangambe Canyon at Mount Wilson on Saturday 2nd January 2021.
Kelly was born on the 1st July 1981, joining the New South Wales Police Force on the 19th January 2010 as a Student Police Officer.
After completing her training, Kelly attested as a Probationary Constable on the 27th August 2010, and commenced her policing career in General Duties at Newtown.
Kelly was confirmed to the rank of Constable on the 3rd May 2012.
Early in her career, Kelly showed all the hallmarks of her becoming a successful and highly respected professional police officer.
On 18th May 2014, Kelly was successful in obtaining a position at the State Crime Command Property Crime Squad as an Intelligence Analyst.
On 3rd May 2016, Kelly was promoted to the rank of Senior Constable.
Continuing her work as an Intelligence Analyst, Kelly took up a position within the State Crime Command Real Time Intelligence Response Team on the 17th July 2016, where she and her team provided vital 24/7 real time tactical and operational support and intelligence to the State’s front line police, responding to serious incidents such as murder/attempted murder, public place shootings, drug seizures/clandestine laboratories, armed robberies, extortions, abductions and home invasions.
On the 23rd September 2018, Kelly joined the intelligence analyst team within the State Intelligence Command, Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad.
Whilst performing analyst duties with the State Crime Command, Kelly played a crucial role in many investigations, such as;
• SF Lind – an investigation into the kidnapping for ransom of an organised crime figure;
• SF Browallia – an investigation into a series of armed robberies targeting businesses in South West Sydney;
• SF Kokanee – an investigation into a series of highly organised break and enter offences targeting jewellery premises; and
• SF Averil – the investigation into historical abduction & sexual assaults that occurred in 1966 in Parramatta
Kelly was also part of a Major Incident Intelligence Cell tasked to assess organised crime related kidnapping offences.
On the 4th May 2020, Kelly successfully attained an Advanced Diploma of Police Intelligence Operations.
On the 10th May 2020, an opportunity arose for Kelly to leave her work environment in the Sydney metropolitan area to continue and build her policing career in general duties at the Lithgow Police Station.
It was a desire for Kelly to get back to grass roots street policing and work in an environment closer to her home where she could also pursue her recreational passion of outdoor adventure.
Kelly would often comment to work colleagues how much she relished her return to operational policing and how she considered it an honour to serve the Lithgow community.
On the 11th August 2014, Kelly was awarded the Commissioner’s Sesquicentenary 150 years in policing citation. Her service record contains a myriad of complimentary remarks from the wider community in appreciation of her service excellence.
Kelly’s gentle nature, enthusiasm and commitment to her policing duties was treasured by her work colleagues and the community whom she so tirelessly served.
She was very much a shining example of an officer who truly upheld our policing traditions of professionalism, commitment, honour and courage.
It was these exact traits that Senior Constable Foster will be forever remembered; when she selflessly put herself in danger to rescue and save another. Where, without hesitation, she valiantly went to the rescue of a
companion despite the peril that was to overcome them both.
Her heroism, exceptional bravery and sacrifice is beyond question and today it is my honour to posthumously confer upon her the Commissioner’s Valour Award.
Senior Constable Foster is also awarded the National Police Service Medal, the National Medal, the NSW Police Medal and a Commissioner’s Unit Citation in recognition of her involvement in the response to the Lindt Cafe Siege.
These Australian and State honours recognise her diligent and ethical service in protecting our community.
It is with profound sorrow that I, on behalf of the New South Wales Police Force extend to Kelly’s partner Gavin, her mother and father Marilyn and Terry, sister Leigh and brother David and Kelly’s extended family, our deepest personal sympathy in the tragic unexpected loss of an admired woman and an outstanding police officer.
Finally, Kelly may you go gently from this place knowing that in every way you were a dedicated and professional police officer, above all, true to your solemn Oath of Office right to the very end.
May you rest in peace.