WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson to be state’s next governor, Mark McGowan announces
WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that Police Commissioner Chris Dawson will be Western Australia’s 34th Governor.
- Chris Dawson will be sworn in as governor in July
- He will replace Kim Beazley, who the prime minister says served with distinction
- Mr Dawson has been a police officer for 46 years
Mr. Dawson was appointed commissioner in 2017 and has led the force throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including overseeing the state’s strict borders and travel restrictions.
Mr McGowan said he had played an “instrumental” role in handling the pandemic in WA, both as the state’s emergency coordinator and formerly the state’s vaccine commander.
Mr. Dawson will succeed current Governor Kim Beazley later this year.
“An exemplary Western Australian”
In announcing Mr Dawson’s appointment, the prime minister highlighted his 46 years of “dedicated service” to the state, having joined the police force aged 17.
“He is an exemplary Western Australian of the highest integrity and character,” Mr McGowan said.
Mr Dawson said it was this service he was looking forward to continuing in his new role, saying he had already taken advantage of the “wonderful opportunity” to serve WA through the police force.
“I’m obviously honoured, but I also look forward to being able to continue to serve the people of Western Australia,” he said.
“I love Western Australia and its people.”
Kim Beazley praised
Mr. Dawson and Mr. McGowan also thanked outgoing Governor Kim Beazley for his work in the four years since he was appointed to the post.
The prime minister said when Mr Beazley was appointed in 2018 he reflected on his ability as a natural leader and defender of the state.
“I’m proud to say Governor Beazley delivered on that promise and more,” he said.
“He has worked tirelessly to promote WA in Australia and around the world.
“Commissioner Dawson has big shoes to fill, but I am confident, just as he has throughout his long career in public service, that he will rise to the occasion again.”
Mr Dawson thanked Governor Beazley and his wife Susie Annus for the “grace and distinction” they brought to the role.
“As Western Australians, we should all be grateful for their dedication to duty and their significant advocacy and support of a wide range of organizations and communities while fulfilling the executive and constitutional roles,” he said. declared.
A former federal Labor leader and US ambassador, Beazley was appointed governor in 2018.
At the time Premier Mark McGowan described him as “one of WA’s most respected citizens”.
Mr Beazley spent nearly 30 years in federal politics, including twice as Leader of the Opposition and served as Ambassador to the United States between 2010 and 2016, before returning to Australia to work for a number of policy and strategy think tanks.
Cleo Smith a highlight of her career
Commissioner Dawson joined WA Police in 1976 and was appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2004.
In 2011, he was responsible for overseeing security at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which saw 53 heads of state, plus the Queen, spend time in Perth.
Between 2014 and 2017, Mr Dawson served as head of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, as well as director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.
Reflecting on his time as head of WA Police, Commissioner Dawson said the restructuring of the organization to adopt a “more values-based approach” and the seizure of record amounts of methylamphetamine were highlights.
“Probably a singular highlight is finding [missing four-year-old] Cleo [Smith],” he said.
Throughout the pandemic, Commissioner Dawson has spoken of enforcing restrictions by “monitoring with consent”.
He often referred to the “knucklehead rule”, saying “if you act like a knucklehead, you will be treated as one”.
The search for his replacement as commissioner will begin in the coming days, but Mr Dawson said it would be important to continue to earn the trust of the community through this style of policing.
Reflecting on the opportunity before him, Dawson said fostering young leaders would be a particular priority.
Mr McGowan said Mr Dawson would be sworn in in July.