Investiture of Karen Webb, NSW Police Commissioner

IMAGE: Karen Webb was sworn in as the NSW Police Commissioner on Tuesday.
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A member of The Hawkesbury Phoenix editorial team was on site in Boorowa, NSW, for the Investiture of Karen Webb, NSW Police Commissioner.

Boorowa saw more police officers on Tuesday 1st February 2022 than it has since Ben Hall was on the run, when Deputy Commissioner Karen Webb APM was appointed as NSW Police Commissioner at her alma mater, Boorowa Central School.

This was the first time that a NSW Police Commissioner has been sworn in at their home town since the advent of the NSW Police Force some 170 years ago, and to say that it created a buzz across Boorowa and Hilltops is an understatement.

In addition to Boorowa Central School students, teachers, Principal Graham Jones, and Acting Deputy Principal Christine Hawkins, many luminaries were in attendance including the Governor of NSW, the Hon. Margaret Beazley AC QC, the NSW Premier, Hon. Dominic Perrottet, Deputy Premier Hon. Paul Lawrence Toole, Steph Cooke (Member for Cootamundra), Wendy Tuckerman (Member for Goulburn), and Aunty Donna who delivered the Welcome to Country. Also in attendance were members of NSW Emergency Services, Caspar from the NSW dog unit and the NSW Police Band, which played “The Road to Gundagai”, “Waltzing Matilda” and the theme from “Star Wars”.

Participants learned that Karen Webb went to school at Boorowa Central School from Kindergarten to Year 12. Ms Webb comes from a public service family, and her father Frank Keefe worked for the then Boorowa Shire Council for many years, leaving a lasting legacy in the form of plantings and infrastructure that make up Boorowa Recreational Park.

Governor Beazley said that Commissioner Webb exemplified Boorowa Central School’s values of respect, responsibility and participation, and that the school motto, “Each for all, all for each” demonstrates Boorowa’s commitment to community. She went on to speak to the school children in attendance, saying that their school years will help them find friends, discover their talents, learn values and leadership skills. Karen Webb, she said, was a shining example of how you can use your talents and employ your drive to achieve your dreams.

Commissioner Webb spoke saying that Boorowa is her “true home”. It was in Boorowa, she said, that she gained connection and belonging and learned the importance of “service before self”. Commissioner Webb became a police officer due to the example of the then Boorowa Police Constable John Stone. When Karen went to the Boorowa Police Station to apply for her Driver Licence she met Constable Stone, whose approachable manner and partnering approach with the community sewed the seed of a career in the NSW Police Force.

Premier Perrottet said that said that Commissioner Webb’s investiture gave us all cause to stop and thank police officers. He said that police officers keep our eight million strong population safe, free and secure. He said it was fitting that Commissioner Webb’s investiture was held in Boorowa, in amongst the community, because it is when policing partners with the community that the best safety outcomes emerge. Premier Perrottet finished by saying “On behalf of our State, I thank Boorowa for giving us Karen”.

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