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Nominate an outstanding Police Officer

Nominations for the 2024 South Australia Police Officer of the Year are now open.

Presented annually since 1978 by the Rotary Club of Unley, the award seeks to increase awareness of the policing role in the community and offers an opportunity for community members to recognise an outstanding and committed police officer.

The South Australia Police Officer of the Year award is given to an individual who, in serving the community, displays high standards of professionalism; or performs significant acts of courtesy, kindness, understanding or courage; or handles a complex and difficult situation or provides significant off-duty community volunteering.

A wide-ranging publicity campaign is being undertaken through the media, emergency services, service clubs, police stations, special interest groups and in posters displayed by businesses throughout the state.

The previous five award winners include:

  • 2023 Senior Constable Gary Wills
    Nominated for ‘The Blue Rose Project’ in Gawler, which is a pilot project for young people who were at risk of going missing and since its creation in 2021 Gary has taken the lead on running it with his colleagues. The project was designed to create relationships with the youth of Gawler and give them support which in turn has assisted in lowering the amount of missing person reported and helping to improve wellbeing and health for youth involved.

  • 2022 Superintendent Mark Syrus
    Nominated by Operation Flinders Foundation CEO David Wark for his dedicated work for Operation Flinders, a program designed to build engagement, resilience and wellbeing for ‘at risk’ youth where he has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of thousands of young people through his guidance and support.
  • 2021 Senior Constable First Class Michael Klose APM
    Nominated for his tireless charity work for multiple organisations including the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics and the Wall to Wall Ride. He was described as the ‘epitome of serving the community’.
  • 2020 - SAPOL
    For services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the organisation’s ability to adapt and respond, the whole of SAPOL was awarded with a Certificate of Appreciation in 2020.
  • 2019 – Chief Inspector Matthew Nairn, Eastern District
    Nominated by the City of Adelaide, the Don Dunstan Foundation, Encounter Youth and the Hutt Street Centre, Chief Inspector Matthew Nairn’s work with the homeless and young people in the city saw him presented with the 2018 award. His openness, willingness to build strong relationships and collaborative approach was highlighted across all the nominations he received.
  • 2017/18 - Brevet Sergeant Frederick Keal, Hills Fleurieu Prosecution
    A hard-working Lions Club President and CFS volunteer, Brevet Sergeant Keal joined SAPOL in 2008 as a UK recruit. In 2009, he was posted to Mount Barker Prosecution Section, assuming the role of Junior Prosecutor. He enjoyed an incredible run of success, winning his first 15 trials. A seasoned Prosecutor of excellent repute, he was widely respected by peers, defense counsel and Magistrates alike for his empathetic, professional manner, fairness and dedication.

If you know an officer who has had a similar positive impact on the community then please acknowledge their effort by nominating them for the South Australia Police Officer of the Year award.

Nominations open Friday, 31 May 2024 and close Friday, 12 July 2024. Nominations should be via written submission (visit www.unley.rotaryclub.org.au for the downloadable nomination form) detailing the reasons for the nomination and forwarded to:

SA Police Officer of the Year
Rotary Club of Unley
PO Box 18
Unley SA 5061
or email to pooty@rotaryclub.org.au

The recipient will be selected by the Rotary Club of Unley in consultation with the Commissioner of Police.

The 2024 winner will be announced at a public ceremony held during the Royal Adelaide Show at the Adelaide Showground in September 2024.