1920 - 2020

2010 Dispute over Police vehicles rolling over

The Association took decisive action after reports that Ford Ranger wagons fitted with the Varley prisoner were rolling over. Read the Story

2014 Reforms to handling of drug exhibits

After several incidents highlighted the dangers of officers handling drug exhibits, the Association sought reform. Read the Story

2018 Back the Blue staffing campaign wins 1,500 extra police

After a strategic campaign, the Association achieved a significant breakthrough with NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian announcing an additional 1,500 police over four years. Read the Story

2018 Prisoner transport dispute

We successfully advocated for a trial utilising Corrective Services NSW, AVL, and other solutions to transport prisoners. Read the Story

2020 Income Protection for officers over 60 years

The Association has been at the forefront of the campaign for income protection insurance for officers over 60 years. Read the Story

2020 Policing a pandemic

During the opening phases of COVID-19, the NSW Government turned to our members to police restrictions that have contributed to avoiding, at minimum, over 700 deaths. Read the Story
Photographs published in the PANSW Magazine circa 1920 of the first Secretary and first President

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
Front cover of the first edition of Police News

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
Excerpt of the Gibbons vs Duffell case circa 1932

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
Captain Chaffey (Chief Secretary), Inspector Colmer, Commissioner Childs, Sir Phillip Game, and Sergeantt. J . W a lsh.

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
PANSW Magazine circa 1946 included a proposed copy of the Constituation for the newly formed Austalian Federation of Police Unions

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
 Industrial Relations Commission Building Wikimedia: Sardaka

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
Policewomen circa 1940

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
The December Edition PANSW Magazine 1955 notes new pay rates for NSW Police officers

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
Police Women being sworn in as full constable status circa 1965

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
General Secretary Bob Page and President Bob McClelland on a union visit to broken hill

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
General Secretary Bob Page and President Bob McClelland inspect the mines on a union visit to Broken Hill

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
Strength Campaign poster circa 1980s

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

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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

Centenary Celebration | Gala Dinner

Tuesday 7 September 2021
Join in our celebrations with a Gala Dinner on Tuesday 7 September 2021 as we reflect on what it means to belong to this organisation
All Events

Stories & Inspiration

History of the Assocation

Life Members: Wood Royal Commission

In this segment hear former members and activists reflect on the impact of the Wood Royal Commission in 1995 and discuss the Association's role in representing police officers of NSW during a difficult period for all cops.

Life Members: What does the Association mean?

Filmed as part of the Association's Centenary year activities, the Life Member video series provides a snapshot into the key moments and milestones of the organisation's history. In this segment hear what the Association means to former members and activists.

First Meeting of Police Association Executive 1920

Marking 100 years of Strength and Unity. The first meeting of the Police Association Executive was held on the evening of 8th of September 1920. 100 years on, there has been a great deal of change but the areas of advocacy and representation still ring true.

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