A Brief History of Time


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
Photographs of members at the first annual conference

1921 First Police Association Conference

The first annual conference of the Association was held on 28 of February 1921 and lasted a lengthy seven days. It looked at a wide range of issues such as independence of the Secretary and President, examinations for promotions, equipment for police, a six day work week for Police, and establishment of legal assistance for members in need. Read the Story
PANSW Magazine 1924, October Edition, Page 4

1924 Association Fights for Recognition of Injury on Duty

Association Legal action in the District Court wins justice for officer who was thrown from a police motorcycle but classified as ineligible for compensation. Read the Story

1926 Police win landmark decision of 44-hour work week including weekly rest days

In September 1925 the Association Executive places seven matters before the new Chief Secretary Carlo Lazzarini. 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
Police Memorial commemorating fallen police at Police Headquarters. Published in the Police News June 1933

1933 Memorial plaque to honour fallen police

Police Association push to erect memorial plaque to honour police killed in the execution of their duty since 1900 following a series of on-duty deaths. 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
Lillian Armfeild with Amy Millgate and Glady Johnson circa 1948

1947 Association Membership extends to Police Women and Police Cadets

Women remained ‘special constables’ in the NSW Police structure until 1965, however were admitted membership to the Association following a decision from Conference 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 News Article on Ssecondary employment 1965

1956 Association takes a stance on Secondary Employment

A number of unions had complained to the Association because police were working in other jobs prompting the Association to write to members in the Police News 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
Front Cover of 1969 February Edition of Police News shows flamability of uniforms

1969 Association prompts change in fire-prone uniforms

The highly flammable shirts featured on the front cover of the Police News that year prompting public and political outcry. Not only were the shirts flammable, but the Commissioner had allegedly known for months. 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


1987 Police Legacy is founded

Our charity, Police Legacy is dedicated to caring for over 20,000 serving and retired police and their families. The Association's involvement began in 1987 and continues today with our role as the major financial supporter. 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 Board. 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


2000 Sydney Olympics Security Operation

The security operation for the Sydney Olympic Games― described as the ‘best games ever’―was the largest in the history of the NSW Police Force. Read the Story

2000 The Police Shop

The Police Association has supported the operations of The Police Shop NSW since it began trading 20 years ago. 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


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

2011 Clawing back death and disability benefits

On 2 November 2011, the government announced a new scheme that would slash pay and protections for injured police medically discharged from the force. 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

2015 Remote and isolated work

Following a marathon industrial dispute with the NSWPF, in 2015 the Association resolved a number of safe work issues for single unit officers. Read the Story

2017 Free travel extended

Free travel on light rail and privately operated buses and ferries was secured in 2017 for members on duty and whilst travelling to and from work. 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 Finalising a new Police Promotions System

Throughout the Promotions Review, we've sought to ensure a fair and equitable promotion process for our members. 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