After many years of dedicated service to NSW Police Legacy, Chair Paul Bousfield says goodbye.
"Back in 2001, I was a newly promoted Sergeant in Penrith, when we became aware of a young police officer who had been given the tragic news of a diagnosis of cancer. He was still a young man, married with children and a proud police officer.
We were devastated and wondered what we could do to support him and his young family, so we organised a golf-day fundraiser. We put together a committee, divvied up the work, found community and business sponsors from all over the Command, and made sure it was going to be the best day we could create to support a really ‘great bloke’.
That day we raised a significant amount of money. We were astounded at the support offered from the community and all the police who attended. But our friend and colleague passed away soon afterwards, without opportunity to enjoy the benefits the funds may have brought him.
His passing left a challenge for us in determining how to ensure the funds were best utilised to provide long term support to his family, and that’s when Phil Holder introduced me to NSW Police Legacy. Like so many other officers, I made my fortnightly $2 donation to our charity, but without really appreciating what that donation achieved. Phil encouraged us to place the funds into Trust Accounts for our mate’s children.
Fast forward to 2007: I’m a newly appointed Director on the Board of NSW Police Legacy. As is the Board’s duty, we were asked to consider granting access to a young lady’s Trust Account, so that she could purchase a second-hand car to enable her to travel to and from University. That request is what has motivated me to work with our police officers and the community to build our charitable support for police families all these years later; because that wonderful young police legatee was the daughter of our workmate and colleague from Penrith.
There’s many lessons I’ve taken from that experience and other activities during my time as Director and Chair. In recent years we have looked for more opportunities to support our police families, through fundraising, greater connection and a growing range of benefits and services. We’ve been supported and encouraged by the NSW Police Force – from the Commissioner down – by our Local Area Commands, and our proud charity partners and sponsors.
Without any doubt, NSW Police Legacy is now a charity of best practice and accountability, truly committed to the people and families within the Police Force. We understand the need to ensure that donations serve our police legatees, and provide for the police family in the manner in which they were intended. Our vision is of a ‘strong, resilient and charitable police family’, and each day we find more opportunities to help, and more people willing to join our campaigns.
We’re now approaching a new phase of strategic investment in the business of our charity, building our engagement with police officers – serving and retired – and increasing the benefits and services we offer. But in any phase of growth, it’s inevitable that leadership must pass from one generation to another. So, with a great sense of pride and having had the immense privilege to have shared the guardianship of Police Legacy with people who have inspired and encouraged me, and our police legatees who have shown me the true meaning of police family, it’s time to say farewell as Chair.
I will be forever grateful for the honour of leading NSW Police Legacy. There are many achievements to be proud of; but I’m always mindful that those achievements are a result of teamwork and the extraordinary efforts and passion of many others I have worked alongside, and those who preceded us in our 30-year history.
In saying goodbye, it’s important that I acknowledge and thank the Board of Directors, past and present, our Life Members, and of course our committed staff for the support and friendship provided to me. But in particular, I need to say thank you to each and every one of our wonderful police legatees for permitting me the wonderful privilege of serving and remembering our police family.
I have been honoured to share special moments and memories with you – sometimes in the saddest of circumstances – but most often when smiles and laughter in the celebration of our police family have been the occasion.
I will be forever grateful. Thank you." ~ Inspector Paul Bousfield