The National Police Memorial, unveiled on Police Remembrance Day, 29 September 2006, pays tribute to all Australian police officers killed on duty, as well as those who have died as a result of their duties, since the beginning of policing in Australia. The memorial is designed to encourage community understanding and appreciation of policing, while allowing for individual officer's stories to be told and remembered.
The memorial's main message is that those who have made the ultimate sacrifice are ordinary people that, through a commitment to the community, have shown extraordinary qualities. By means of ceremony, interaction and reflection, the memorial acts as a symbol connecting police to the community and loved ones.
The National Police Memorial is comprised of two main elements; a bronze commemorative wall upon which the names of police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice are placed and a large stone paved area. The fact that police are ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things on behalf of the Australian people, is shown by the collection of quotes etched into the pavement. The pathway tilts downwards to create uncertainty in visitors, reflecting the uncertain path police tread in the performance of their duty.
The bronze commemorative wall - 27 metres long by two metres high - is punctured by 1 200 plaques. On over 700 of these name and rank, date and place of death of deceased police officers is engraved. Each plaque is randomly located across the wall to reflect the random and unplanned nature of loss. The vacant plaques remind visitors future tragedy is inevitable.
Individual tragedies are recognised by the individual plaques. Each plaque casts a shadow which in turn adds a random pattern to the wall. Pattern and texture invite the visitor to touch the wall and to connect physically with the memorial. Each engraved plaque is individually back-lit, providing an effect similar to that of a candlelit vigil in memory of those who have fallen.
The National Police Memorial design, by Fairweather Proberts Architects with Urban Art , was chosen as the result of a design competition.
The National Police Memorial is located in Kings Park, near the National Carillon. Access is from Wendouree Drive, from Constitution Ave or from Kings Ave (northbound).