This memorial commemorates the 700 plus Australian police officers who have been killed on duty or who have died as a result of their duties – since Australian policing first begun. The names of the officers who died are inscribed on a bronze commemorative wall. The first policeman to die on duty was Constable Joseph Luker, aged 38, who was bludgeoned to death in Sydney on on 26 August 1803.
I find the symbolism of this memorial very moving. A large stone paved area tilts downwards to reflect the uncertain path police tread as they go about their day to day duties, the random placement of the plaques containing officers names on the commemorative wall reflects the arbitrary nature of loss and the fact that many plaques have been left blank is a stark reminder that future tragedy is inevitable.
The memorial is worth visiting at night as each engraved plaque is individually back-lit, providing an effect similar to that of a candlelit vigil in memory of those who have fallen. I should take a night-time photo for readers. In fact at some stage I will do a separate review on Lake Burley Griffin by night. All the buildings and monuments in the Parliamentary Triangle are very tastefully illuminated at night. Do go and have a look.
While most of the memorials in this area commemorate historical events and the list of dead is closed this one, sadly, remains very much a work in progress. Take a minute or two to reflect on this.
Unveiled by Prime Minister, John Howard on Police Remembrance Day, 29 September 2006. This is my favourite (if that is the correct word to use with memorials) of all the memorials in Canberra and as such especially recommended for a visit.
The Memorial is in Kings Park and directly across from the entrance to Aspen Island and the National Carillon (100m walk up a slight incline).
Address: Parkes Way, ACT 2600
Directions: Direct Access is from Wendouree Drive, from Constitution Ave or from Kings Ave (northbound) tough you will probably visit it as part of a walk around the lake area.