ACWAP Awards 2012

Australasian Council of Women and Policing

Excellence in Policing Awards



Audrey Fagan Memorial Award

Karen Owen, New South Wales Police

At the time of joining NSWMP 30 years ago, Karen was only the second female accepted into the unit’s very physical and male dominated unit. The NSWMP is the oldest continuous Mounted Police in the world, being formed in 1825.  So this is a huge achievement for Sgt OWEN and opened the door for females to follow in her footsteps.  Today Karen is part of the senior management of the unit and is firmly entrenched in the daily functioning and strategic direction of the Mounted Police.  Karen’s achievements both within the unit and external are exceptional however it is her passion for teaching, improving and training the horses and riders at the unit over the past 20 years that provides her a ‘legendary’ status amongst this unit.  Karen is very much a quiet achiever and not one to spruik her achievements.  She is the most dedicated police officer always providing coaching and mentoring for all riders at the unit.  She has pioneered the way for other women to follow and lead the way at every step in the unit and continues to do so.  Karen has trained every rider during her 20 year period as a trainer and selected; trialled and trained every horse at the unit during this time. Karen’s exceptional expertise at the Mounted Unit means she is oversighting many of the horse and riding facets and whilst she is very strict in her teachings she holds a great encompassing passion for all staff and riders.  She is truly an asset and leader for females of the NSWPF and a very worthy nominee for this award.



Samantha Purcell, Queensland Police Service

Senior Sergeant Samantha Purcell is the first (and only) police woman to serve in the Radio and Electronics Section.  She achieved a first for the QPS by mentoring and leading a team of technical officers to achieve laboratory accreditation in Measurement Science and Technology and Chemical Testing, as well as setting a new benchmark for Police Calibration Laboratories across Australia. Sam’s expertise and professionalism was nationally recognised with an appointment as the first police representative on the National Association of Testing Authority’s Electrical Testing Accreditation Advisory Committee. Sam has pioneered the way for female technical officers to follow, mentoring female technical officers in technology as well as female administrative officers and female quality managers in laboratory requirements.  Sam is an inspirational leader, role model and mentor who has provided inspiration, support and encouragement to women in outback Queensland as the inaugural Women’s Advisory Group representative during her appointment in Mount Isa; in Brisbane as the longest serving female branch president of the Queensland Police Union of Employees; and as a QPS representative of the Australia Police Unions Women’s Advisory Committee.



Karen Lowden, New South Wales Police Force

Senior Constable Lowden stayed on the balcony of the home with Madeleine Pulver sitting in the doorway of her kitchen.  A solid cement wall separated Madeleine and Karen.  Advice was received from Bomb Squad Technicians that if an explosion occurred Karen was in a critical position due to the dynamics of an explosion and the resulting rebound of the blast would cause to Karen.  Despite this Karen remained with Madeleine to provide the support required

Highly Commended – Katherine Pausina, Queensland Police Service



Bonnie Kaipu, Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary

Sgt Bonnie Kaipu is a co-operative and hardworking police woman who has good planning skills and discharges her orders diligently with respect to her fellow officers under her command. She always accepts delegated responsibilities and any assigned duties outside her line of duties and responsibilities.  Bonnie is a dedicated officer committed to engaging with community groups and individuals on issues affecting women, children and families, balancing a traditional leadership role within her policing role, she continues to work with women, making sure there is peace and harmony in every rural and urban community.

Highly Commended – Ester Kende, Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary



The late Sabine Altmann, New South Wales Police Force

An inspiration to all women for her outstanding work in the area of Domestic Violence in the North West of NSW as well as her international humanitarian efforts in assisting domestic violence victims amongst remote villages in Papua New Guinea. Sabine was the Regional Domestic Violence Coordinator for Western Region based in Tamworth. She was instrumental in changing the attitudes of many Police in respect of the impacts that domestic violence had not only within families but within communities. Her work in bringing together different agencies, including NGO’s, across the North West was without parallel. She directly engaged with communities and broke down many barriers that existed for many years. Her passion and strong advocacy for women and child victims of domestic violence led to a great many initiatives in this area. Her work not only was focussed within NSW but she regularly travelled to Papua New Guinea to assist victims of domestic violence in remote villages as well as providing them with homeopathic care. She was a true Ambassador for the cause of domestic violence both here and internationally.

Highly Commended – Kristen Woods



Shari Allison, New South Wales Police

From 2006-2009 Inspector Allison was a representative on the (NSWPF) Spokeswomen’s network. During this time she played an integral role in influencing policy development in respect of women’s issues and assisted and supported females including referrals and advice and guidance regarding their career paths. She has attended ACWAP and IAWP Conferences and has been committed to bringing back and using information and experiences gained at those events to improve the policing experiences of women in New South Wales. In 2009 she participated in a trial of E- Mentoring program for women facilitated by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.  This sparked her passion to see the establishment of a suitable mentoring program for women which led to her recent research into Mentoring and Leadership Programs for women that has been submitted to the Executive of the NSWPF.

Highly Commended – Terry Browne, Australian Federal Police



Karen Henrikson, New Zealand Police

Karen Henrikson has an absolute passion and vision for safer communities and a tangible desire to work alongside families and youth to prevent crime.  Karen is able to connect with police’s strategic objectives and crime control strategies – and implement these at a grass roots level.  The outcomes of projects described below are made possible because of Karen’s ability to inspire ‘buy-in’ from a number of key government agencies at an executive level.  Responsible for two major projects: Rock on Truancy and Hamilton Interagency Youth Action Group.

Highly Commended – Lee-Anne Adams, Tasmania Police



Susan Fraser, South Australia Police

For five years, as the manager of SAPOL’s Quality and Curriculum Management Section Ms Sue Fraser has provided outstanding levels of educational leadership to S.A. Police in a manner that models the organisation’s highest standards of commitment and integrity. Sue was recruited from another Government Department to lead the Section responsible for SAPOL’s educational quality assurance processes.  For a sustained period of time Sue has achieved significant outcomes for SAPOL through an inclusive and collaborative leadership approach.  Sue has established her professional status in SAPOL and is consulted on educational matters by diverse workgroups across the organisation and including the Executive.  Sue has quickly developed a deep understanding of and commitment to policing and its role in the community.  She has a focus on ensuring the services police officers and public servants deliver are enhanced by the training they receive.  She has developed a strong team through her role modelling, leadership and work ethic.

Highly Commended – Lexlei Taylor, New Zealand Police

Highly Commended – Naomi Graham, Australian Federal Police



Kylie Pratt, Australian Federal Police

Kylie since joining the Australian Federal Police in December 1999 as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and the holder of a Bachelor of Science degree has consistently performed at a very high standard in delivering all spheres of intelligence, not only to AFP Management but to operational teams. She has undertaken and delivered this outstanding work in many diverse and difficult locations including whilst representing the Australian Government in Indonesia in the aftermath of the terrorists bombings there in 2002 and deployment to the Solomon Islands as a member of Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) between 2007 and 2009. Both these deployments were challenging to a woman in  male dominated environments such as these  however Kylie through her commitment, work ethic and resilience broke down the barriers of such gender issues and let her work speak for itself gaining high praise from international partners. Similarly these outcomes have pleasingly occurred during Kylie’s deployments in an Australian National environment making her a role model for not only unsworn female members but also young sworn female members.

Highly Commended – Kelly Garrett, Queensland Police Service



Kate Smith, New Zealand Police

Detective Kate Smith has been nominated for her outstanding work as the sole member of a newly created Child Exploitation Unit within Counties-Manukau Police. She has built relationships with other government and non government groups which have improved intelligence collection and dissemination as well as initiating opportunities to target on line child sex offenders, public sex environments and repeat or high risk child sex offenders. Her work has been instrumental in apprehending known child sex offenders and holding them to account for past offending as well as identifying previously unknown child sex offenders and preventing them from creating further victims.

Highly Commended – Grace Calma, Australian Federal Police