Hola NSW Police Legacy! It’s great to be back after being in Spain and other countries in Europe for the past three months. I am well rested and raring to go! A big thank you to our Vice Chair, Sergeant Craig Partridge, for his stewardship as Acting Chair while I was away. He has done a great job. Craig loved working with you all and had many lovely interactions.
My feet flew off the runway at Mascot straight into the Children’s Camp. We had a day at Taronga Zoo followed by a day climbing the Harbour Bridge. It was so good to see the kids. A highlight was all the kids spontaneously singing in “I Want It That Way” by the Back Street Boys, at the top of the bridge. Magic! I will always be grateful for the time I get to spend with your children; they are the best of us. You would be so proud of the kind way they treat each other on camp which I know comes from their experience at home.
From there we hosted the Annual National Police Legacies Conference which was a marvelous success. As a team we all worked to learn from each other and looked for ways to collaborate to support and care for police families in Australia. We celebrated the great participation in the National Run4Blue event where people from all walks of life ran and raised money to support our legatees. We heard about the impact and the great care given to those families around Australia who in the past year have suffered the same loss that our legatees know all too well.
This was followed by Family Day at Sydney Zoo in Western Sydney – a full circle moment for me, as this was the first event I attended as Chair. Wow, the last 12 months have been so precious. Family Day is not just fun – it has all the hallmarks of every other Legacy event I have attended. Kindness towards each other, wicked humour and great humility. To say I have been changed being in this role is an understatement. NSW Police Legacy and our Legatees have shown me what a difference it makes when we all support each other in many different ways. You are all unique but the same in your commitment to each other and your families.
In September, we will be managing some much-loved fundraising events to support our legatee families. First is the 10th Remembrance Bike Ride. A three-day grueling bicycle ride from the NSW Police Memorial Wall in The Domain to the National Police Memorial Wall in Canberra. This group of committed bicycle riders have raised well over half a million dollars for legacy over the last ten years. This year we again have young legatees riding the whole way with the group through the Great Dividing Range. Our much loved 15-year-old Ben Goodwin, son of Senior Constable Daniel Goodwin, 15-year-old “Paddy”, Patrick Richardson, son of Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson and 15-year-old Caleb, son of Constable Adam Gardener, have all been in training and working hard to ride with the adult participants.
Next I am looking forward to the “Wall 2 Wall” Ride, the annual motor cycle ride from the NSW Police Memorial Wall to the National Police Memorial Wall in Canberra. There are literally thousands of riders from all over Australia converging in Canberra in an amazing display of solidarity for the police and families that are no longer with us.
Lastly in September we will once again commemorate our key observance, National Police Remembrance Day. Although a very important day to publicly honour police that have lost their lives in the execution of their duty, we are always mindful that our Police families honour all their police officers that are no longer with us. They also do it not just once a year but in many ways, every day of the year.
As we move towards the end of the year, we have some regular events to look forward to and a brand new one. In October we have the Police Boxing, prized by Police who get to test their skills in the ring and fundraise for NSW Police Legacy. In November, the Legatee Christmas Luncheon, and on 1-3 December the Inaugural Legatee Family Camp on the Central Coast, where we can all get together to enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors.