Each day I learn more about this wonderful organisation that is NSW Police Legacy, and each day I feel honoured to work for our Legatees and their families. I have worked with a number of police that have been taken from the families and it is a special gift to continue the relationship with their loved ones.
I feel blessed to work with the devoted NSW Police Legacy Team and our Board of Directors. They quietly go about their business because they care, and want the best outcome possible for Legatees, their families, and members of the NSW Police Force. Importantly, I have witnessed the impact the previous Chair, Det Supt Gary Merryweather, made during his four years of dedicated service to NSWPL. I keep his police hat on my desk to remind me of this special legacy of his. Gary was able to be both leader and worker bee, working seamlessly with NSWPL staff with his common-sense approach, and with empathy for the families – our number one priority. His sure and steady hand on the wheel helped guide NSWPL through many a challenge and many an accomplishment.
I am amazed by the incredible generosity of the NSW Police Force, members of the community, and the many businesses that donate, especially financially, to support our Legatees as they journey through life’s challenges without their police parent or partner. Many have no connection to policing but wish to honour the sacrifice made by Police on their behalf.
In the past three months I have taken part in some of the wonderful events that are proud NSWPL traditions. My first day on the job was at Family Day at Taronga Zoo. I had the pleasure of seeing our Patron the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC, and her husband, getting to know the Legacy Family as they enjoyed the harbour vista and zoo attractions. I met Legatees that have been with NSWPL for months, and others for over thirty years. I saw Legatees meet and speak to each other like long-lost relatives, supporting each other in ways that only a Legatee would understand. It was a heart-warming and inspiring entry into NSWPL. I’ve visited some of our Senior Legatees at their regular luncheons, and sat with the Bear Ladies as they created and sold Police Bears at Attestation parades. The friendship, kindness, and wisdom that all freely offer is only bested by the wonderful sense of humour which lightens many a load.
In July I had the privilege of being a Supervisor at the Kids Camp in Carool near the Queensland border. I got to meet some amazing children, who greeted each other like much-loved cousins. They were brave in trying the challenging activities on offer. They were brave in being away from home. They are brave in sharing their struggles and accomplishments with each other to help their fellow Legatees on their journey to adulthood. It was an experience I will never forget, and I thank the families for entrusting their precious children to NSWPL.
I will finish by saying that for the first time in three years we will be able to return to our normal Remembrance Day Commemorative Ceremony at the end of September. This, combined with the associated Wall to Wall Ride, will be a welcome chance to remember those from the Police Family whose memory we hold dear.