Speech by District Governor Tim Klar at the presentation of the SA Police Officer of the Year on 6th September 2019
 
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, Officers of Police, Non-commissioned officers and Constables of the South Australian Police Force, nominees for the Police Officer of the Year award, President Elect Sorel Coward of the Rotary club of Unley and members of the Rotary club of Unley, District Governor Elect David Jones and his wife Lyn, distinguished guests.
 
It's been a great pleasure to present the award of SA Police Officer of the Year 2019 to Chief Inspector Matt Nairn from Adelaide CBD.
 
I think all of the candidates were well deserving of an award but unfortunately, we can only recognise one as Police Officer of the Year in South Australia.
 
The award was introduced in 1978 to highlight the service provided to the community by the South Australian Police.
 
It recognises that courtesy, courage, kindness, understanding, compassion and devotion to duty are essential traits of a dedicated police officer.
 
The officer will have performed above and beyond the call of duty and the recognition may be the result of performance on the job, such as courage or handling of complex situations, or it may be by providing significant off -duty community volunteering.
 
Rotary is a community of 1.2 million people who believe in doing good in the world. We belong to 33,000 clubs in 221 countries and regions in the world.
 
Many people are unaware of what Rotary does. Rotary is like an iceberg 9/10 of what we do is unseen. People see as conducting sausage sizzles and Bunnings on the Saturday morning or they see a sign outside a hotel that says Rotary meets here Wednesday night.
 
What they do not see is the local and international scale of what Rotary does.
 
  • They do not see our international disaster relief projects.
  • They do not see our water and sanitation projects.
  • They do not see the great number of youth exchange programs we undertake.
  • And they are unaware of the fact that Rotary with its partners has almost eliminated polio from the world.
  • And while we have been doing this we have Fellowship and fun.
 
Rotary has a vision statement in which we see a world where people like you and me take action to create lasting change across the world, in our communities and in ourselves.
 
The values that underlie Rotary’s vision statement and strategic plan are
  • Fellowship
  • Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Service
 
I think all of you would agree that the same values are also the values of the members of our police force. They are required to undertake a great number of roles within the community, from such things as neighbourhood watch programs and community policing, the South Australian Police Band performing at functions and on community events such as Anzac Day, and ensuring we live in a safe environment and in a safe community. They enforce the laws made by our elected leaders without fear or favour. They are required to work in all kinds of weather conditions and any time of the day or night needed. They can be required to perform tasks that put the own lives in danger and they do so readily. And sadly they also have the hard task of having to inform a mother or father that their child has been killed in a motor vehicle accident.
 
Rotary International has five avenues of service and all members of Rotary work towards making improvements in the world in these areas.
 
  • The first area is Club Service, looking after our fellow members in making sure we are viable organisation to ensure we can make an impact in the world.
  • The second is Community Service. We engage in community service activities locally to support many and varied community organisations.
  • Our third is Vocational Service. We have many vocational opportunities for Rotarians to become involved with volunteer vocational service both within Australia and overseas. We arrange group study exchanges and promote scholarships for educational betterment.
  • We have an International focus in helping those in other countries less fortunate than us to try and improve the living standards, their educational standards and to be able to achieve health care improvements.
  • We have a large range of Youth programs for both high school and primary school children. We offer driver education programs so that young children when they achieve their licences can be aware of what that driver’s license means and responsibility attached to it.
 
The Police Officer of the Year award, in the criteria laid down, addresses the areas of community and vocational service and as such we recognise the efforts of police officers everywhere within the state for what they do 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year.
  
I would like to recognise the efforts and the service of all police officers in South Australia as they go about their duties making South Australia a safer place to live.