1920 - 2020

1920 Police Association Formed

A small group of police including Betram Fortescue, the Association’s first General Secretary, and Seargent William MacKay, who later became the Commissioner of Police, presented a proposal to the Inspector General. Read the Story

1921 First Edition of Police News

First edition of Police News was eagerly awaited by the membership as they had previously relied on press reports and the bush telegraph to hear about what was going on in their own department. Read the Story

1930 Police Association legal representations to support member

Legal representations to support member in the Gibbons vs Duffell matter was one of the first instances of Police Association legal assistance. Read the Story

1931 Police suffer pay cuts 8-20%

Introduction of the Public Servants Salaries Reduction act by the Lang Government mean all public servants have their wages cut by 16.5% despite frantic efforts by the Police Association. Read the Story

1945 Police Federation of Australia Formed

The Police Association of New South Wales was a dominant force with the largest membership at the time. The NSW Police had never gone on strike, persuing negotiation and resolution to solve difference. Read the Story

1946 Police Association gain the right to approach the NSW Industrial Commission (only on wages)

Access to IRC lead to a historic wage rise, one that regained the losses accumulated through the Depression years Read the Story

1952 Police Women addressed the PANSW Conference

Grace Hopkins of Traffic brought the concerns of policewomen before conference speaking of the deplorable arrangements which existed or failed to exist, including the absence of lavatories for women. Read the Story

1955 Police Association gain further pay rises

Realising that action before the Industrial Courts was a time consuming process and expensive, the association adopted a new strategy and made an application to the Public Service Board. Read the Story

1964 Policewomen gain the rank of constable

Legislation passed to allow for the conferring of the status of constable to policewomen, removing the previous arrangement as special constables. Read the Story

1969 Further salary increases gained for members

Police Association gain further salary increases for members by $149 via application to the Public Service Board. Read the Story

1974 Drive to improve police training

The executive of the Association led the drive to improve police training. They supported the idea of a dedicated, residential college, making representation to government and the department on the benefits of such a model. Read the Story

1974 Association introduce industrial training

Executive organised a seminar for all branch secretaries to cover a range of industrial issues and give a broader understanding of the increasingly important role of the union. Read the Story

1980 Changes to structure of the Association

Report recommends that five divisions be created within the Association Management structure spreading duties and responsibilities throughout the secretaries. Read the Story

1986 Introduction of the 38 Hour work week

The Association instituted a series of work-to-rule bans after six days of consultations between with the Public Service Board had failed to produce a result. The work bans had the desired effect. Read the Story

1994 15% salary increase under Enterprise Bargaining

The move to enterprise bargaining was in line with a shift in the direction across the Australian Industrial Relations landscape, representing a departure from wage cases before the Industrial Commissions or the Public Service... Read the Story

1994 Association co-operate and support Wood Royal Commission

Delegates voted that the Association would co-operate and support the royal commission during a special conference called just days before annual Conference in Wollongong. Read the Story

2003 OHS improvements driven by branches

Branch develops best practice in safe storage of firearms Read the Story

2004 Protecting Police from civil litigation

Prior to 1 January 2004 Police could be sued as individuals for any injury or damage caused while carrying out their duties in good faith. Read the Story

Full Timeline

Centenary Celebration Countdown


100 Years Of Staying Strong

A Message from Tony King

As I look back at the history of our Association over the past 99 years, one fact is crystal clear.

Those that came before us fought long and hard for the creation of an organisation to represent NSW police officers, taking on direct opposition from Governments and senior police. It wasn’t a given.

During the 1900s, Members of Parliament including Edmund Walcott Fosbery CMG, an Inspector-General (equivalent to the role of Commissioner) of Police for 33 years, strongly opposed granting rank and file members the basic right to appeal matters of discipline and promotion.

We had a stalwart supporter in the Hon Ted Larkin, a former policeman, who said in 1914, “It is the manifest right of the police to form their association, and the request should be granted.”

Unfortunately, World War I intervened and Larkin, who was a member of the 1st Battalion, tragically died in battle at Gallipoli.

It took many years of hard work, and with the permission of a sympathetic Premier of the day, the Association finally formed in 1920 with the first Association meeting held on 8 September 1920.

Initially, police officers worried that joining the Association would be a black mark against them.

Chief Secretary, (equivalent to the role of Premier) James Dooley directly intervened, reassuring them that joining the Association would not prejudice their position or status as a Police Officer. 

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PANSW Centenary Events

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Centenary Celebration | Gala Dinner

Join in our celebrations with a Gala Dinner on 8 September 2020 as we reflect on what it means to belong to this organisation
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Stories & Inspiration

History of the Assocation

Evolution of the modern police uniform

Since the formation of the PANSW, many changes to police uniform and equipment have been initiated by frontline members through their Association. Here are some key changes over the past 100 years.

The first PANSW Secretary Bertram Fortescue

The surprising story of Bertram Fortescue, the first PANSW secretary, died in office desperately seeking an exemption from public sector wage cuts of 16.5 % at the time.

PANSW Leadership | President's Portraits

Wednesday 4 December 2019
PANSW has been lead by a variety of President's over the decades, all serving Police officers.

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