Long-serving Victoria Police officers have been recognised in today’s 2021 Australia Day Honours List.
Nine police officers, each serving at least 30 years in the force, have been awarded the prestigious Australian Police Medal (APM) for their exemplary service and dedication to protecting the Victorian community.
The awards recognise the officers’ distinguished and diverse careers, including supporting victims of sexual offences, championing gender equality, and responding to international and national natural disasters.
This year’s award recipients have served the organisation and the community with distinction and they join a select group of other passionate police officers whose careers and contributions have previously been rewarded through the highly coveted award.
The nine Victoria Police officers receiving medals in 2021 are:
Superintendent Joy Arbuthnot, Eastern Region, Division 4
Superintendent Arbuthnot has demonstrated a strong community focus and inspirational commitment to closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has also championed the cause for women and social inclusiveness within Victoria Police.
Sergeant Trevor Blake, Forensic Services Department
Sergeant Blake has contributed to the Victorian response to various state, national and international multi-fatality disasters, including the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring all victims are treated with respect and dignity, across a range of roles.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson, Ballarat Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Investigation Team
For nearly 29 years Detective Sergeant Carson has investigated sexual offences committed against children that included a number of high-profile cases in the Ballarat area. He has worked tirelessly with victims and families to provide ongoing support and assistance. Detective Sergeant Carson has provided a dedicated service to Victoria Police, and to the community, for over 46 years.
Inspector Stephen Frost, Health, Safety & Wellbeing, Specialist Services Division
Inspector Frost has played an instrumental role in supporting injured officers to return to meaningful work. Most recently in 2020, he the led the repatriation of the community and surrounding areas of Gippsland following the devastating bushfires.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Darren Gleeson, Seymour Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Investigation Team
Detective Leading Senior Constable Gleeson continues to set a high standard among his peers when investigating serious crime, including those relating to the sexual assault of adults and children.
Commander Paul Millet, Taskforce Landow
Commander Millet has held various roles including investigating major arson offences and suspicious deaths. He has also led the taskforce created to support the requirements of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
Superintendent Rebecca Olsen, Western Region, Division 6
Superintendent Olsen has held operational, investigative and specialist roles, including as the officer in charge of one of the force’s first Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Investigation Teams. Her passion and priority in supporting others has seen the advancement of women across various policing roles. Her outstanding police service includes her current role leading one of the largest divisions in the state, encompassing Mildura and Swan Hill.
Sergeant Jonathan Payne, People Development Command
As an instructor for over 30 years, Sergeant Payne has taught more than 20,000 recruits in operational safety and drill, consistently demonstrating exemplary levels of professionalism, integrity and expertise. His involvement in the creation and design of Victoria Police’s latest ensign (flag) has provided an enduring legacy for Victoria Police and serves to promote cultural change, inclusivity and pride.
Superintendent Adrian White, Southern Metro Region, Division 4
Superintendent White has provided outstanding police service to the community over his broad and varied career spanning more than 41 years. He has been responsible for investigating corrupt behaviour and serious misconduct by police and led investigations into extortion, kidnapping offences and other high-profile investigations.
Quotes attributable to Chief Commissioner Shane Patton
“Victoria Police is proud to celebrate the significant contribution of nine police officers who have today been awarded medals in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List.”
“These officers have committed their careers to serving and protecting our community in every role they have taken on. This honour is testament to their long-serving dedication, diligence and the significant service they have provided to the entire Victorian community.”
“Today I join their family, friends and colleagues in congratulating them in receiving this well-deserved honour. They are a credit to Victoria Police.”