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Celebrate our history - Foundation Day 2021

South Australia Police (SAPOL), with the support of the South Australian Police Historical Society, celebrates Foundation Day annually on 28 April. On the same date in 1838 a Police Inspector, 10 Mounted Constables and 10 Foot Constables were sworn in as the first members of the South Australia Police, the first centrally organised police force established in Australia.

This significant date in SAPOL’s calendar has been officially commemorated since 1992, with each year focussing on a significant theme that reflects on the rich and diverse policing history in South Australia. This year, Police Foundation Day will acknowledge and celebrate the SA Police Museum refurbishment which was finished late last year.

Located at Thebarton Barracks, the SA Police Museum displays and promotes the history of SAPOL. With five different galleries, including a full exhibit of former police vehicles, it is recognised as the leading Police museum of its type in Australia.

The Museum Redevelopment Program which was led by the Historical Society’s museum volunteers took nearly two years to complete and has resulted in four of the galleries receiving an upgrade. A new exhibit was also launched - the United Nations Display which showcases the history and involvement of SAPOL and its members in the various United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, Regional Assistance programs and assistance to foreign countries in times of catastrophic disaster such as the New Zealand earthquakes.

Watch this special video commemorating Foundation Day and celebrating the museum and our rich history.

To mark the refurbishment and Foundation Day, the Commissioner will join a class of cadets at the museum and be given a full tour led by Police Historical Society members and retired police officers, bringing past and present together.

The museum was re-opened on 1 March 2021, following a closure due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and is now welcoming visitors. With thousands of visitors over the years these latest developments will encourage even more people to visit the museum to explore SAPOL’s remarkable history.

Find out more about the Police Historical Society and the Museum.

A tour of the museum could be great excursion for the whole family or for your community group’s next meeting. Tours of the museum can be made by appointment – book here.

A feature with the Historical Society will go live on the South Australia Police Facebook page to coincide with Foundation Day with a not to be missed Instagram Reel and quiz on Instagram Stories.