The Centenary of Commonwealth Policing in Australia
Last month marked the centenary of Commonwealth policing in Australia and to commemorate the occasion, many of us in the Australian Federal Police travelled to Warwick in Queensland – the location of where Commonwealth policing began – to reflect on how and why the AFP came into existence.Warwick is significant in the establishment of the Australian Federal Police as its the location of an assault of the then Prime Minister who was in Warwick giving a speech at the local railway station when an egg was thrown in his direction, knocking off his hat. The Prime Minister asked the local police sergeant to arrest the offender but interestingly, the sergeant refused, saying it was not in his jurisdiction to take action.
Angered by this, the Prime Minister said he intended to create his own police force – and so he did; the Commonwealth Police was formed which in 1979 became the Australian Federal Police.
So enough history lessons. We arrived in Warwick and stayed at The Abbey of the Roses, a beautiful heritage listed country house manor. Such a beautiful building with gorgeous gardens although my photo below does not do them any justice.We walked in through huge wooden doors with stained glass windows and were taken to our rooms – there are thirteen in total; all very lovely and some with beautiful stained windows similar to those above the front entry doors. The manor also has a guest lounge room with open fire for the cold winter evenings and a dining room with gorgeous velvet covered chairs.Our first official event was to view the re-enactment of the famous egg throwing incident at the train station. Really well put together by the Warwick community. As we were representing the AFP, we all wore our uniforms and three of us had a quick photo opportunity outside the main doors of the manor and a larger group photo outside the train station after the re-inactment.A commemorative plaque was unveiled by our Commissioner and the local Member of Parliament followed by our Commissioner doing some quick media interviews.Our next official function was a dinner so we went back to the manor and changed into our Mess uniforms and again had some photos taken, but this time on the stairs in the manor. My friend Jane and I had a couple more photos taken along with a few of me and the Commissioner as this was the last time I was to wear my Mess uniform as a member of the AFP; I have since retired – 30 November after thirty-four and a half years!And finally a photograph of all of us at our dinner function; a great weekend representing the AFP.