Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Commissioner Ian Stewart have announced the new memorial in honour of Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) 145 fallen officers will be located in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens.
Joined by Police Minister Mark Ryan, Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers and Inspector Keiryn Dermody from the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers’ Union of Employees (QPCOUE), the Premier said it was fitting that the new monument be located in a peaceful place easily accessible to family and friends of fallen officers.
“In consultation with the Queensland Police Union, police, the Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Heritage Council (QHC), a new police memorial will be built in the Gardens to replace the existing memorial which was decommissioned to make way for the Queen’s Wharf redevelopment,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Several locations in Brisbane were considered for the memorial.
“The best place for a monument so close to the hearts of Queenslanders is in the heart of the State’s capital.
“Whenever we’re in real strife, it’s usually the strong arm of a Queenslander that pulls you out of it, and more often than not they’re wearing a blue shirt with a badge that says ‘with honour we serve’.
“This memorial is to honour them, their families and their colleagues. It’s the least we can do to show our respect, admiration and thanks.”
Commissioner Stewart said he welcomed the QHC recommendation to install the memorial in the Gardens.
“Establishing a new permanent police memorial in the gardens is very important to the Queensland Police Service, its members and their families,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“This will be a fitting location for family members, colleagues and the community to honour and pay their respects to fallen QPS members.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Queensland Police Service Academy was currently home to a temporary memorial in honour of the Queensland police officers who gave their lives in the performance of their duty or during active service in the First World War.
“It is vital that these brave men and women again receive a permanent monument to honour their sacrifice for their communities,” he said.
“The development of the original memorial and the new memorial in the Botanical Gardens would not have been possible without the strong support of the Queensland Police Union.
“The Queensland Police Union started the nation’s first ever Police Remembrance Day, were instrumental in the construction of the first memorial near the Executive Building on George St in 2003 and have been tireless advocates and generous financial contributors towards the new memorial.
“I would like to thank the QPS, QPU, QPCOUE and Queensland Police Legacy Scheme for working together to find this new location.”
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers welcomed the announcement and acknowledged the 145 police whose names appear on the memorial.
“I want to thank the Premier, the Police Minister and the Police Commissioner. We’ve all worked together to make this happen and I know this new memorial is a fitting tribute to the 145 police whose names appear on the memorial,” he said.
“We the police union came up with the idea and built the original memorial on George Street and this new location in the Botanic Gardens is also symbolic for us as it is in the vicinity of the first police station in Queensland.
“We have worked hard to ensure this new memorial is a fitting tribute to honour police and provide a place of quiet contemplation for family, colleagues and the community as a whole.”
Inspector Dermody said, “on behalf of the QPCOUE I would like to sincerely thank the Queensland Government, the Brisbane City Council, Queensland Heritage Council, QPUE and everyone who contributed to this memorial to preserve the memory of our fallen officers and the sacrifice they and their families have made to keep the community of Queensland safe”.
Each year prior to the official remembrance celebrations held on September 29, the QPS honours its fallen officers by conducting a candlelight vigil at the site of the memorial. These commemorative actions allow family members, colleagues and the community to pay respect and honour those officers.0