It is my privilege to deliver the Presidents Report of the Australian Federal Police Former Members Association at this our 2021 Annual General Meeting.
The first point I would like to make is to warmly welcome Heather Jackson to the meeting. Heather is the wife of Ian Jackson, who as we all know, sadly passed away suddenly in September. Heather has been invited as a guest of the Executive Committee in honour of Ian’s or Jacko’s as we all fondly knew him, contribution to the Executive committee and as we know it is a team effort, we want to thank Heather very much for the support she has given Jacko with his work with the Association. Heather will be the returning office for these elections.
I was fortunate to have worked with Ian Jackson as were other members of the executive committee in several roles within the AFP, where he was highly regarded as a fine police officer and detective. Jacko and his, wife even played volleyball with a member of our executive committee. Jacko, along with our inaugural President Mick Doroshenko and Greg Ranse, was instrumental in the creation of the AFPFMA. He was also critical as Treasurer in ensuring our financial stability and fiscal responsibility. On a personal note, Jacko provided me immense support in my roles as President. Jacko is already missed terribly on both a professional and personal level. Thank you, Heather, for sharing Jacko with us.
We are very fortunate that Michele Hawley graciously took up, the often-onerous role as treasurer after Jacko’s passing. I would like to thank Michele for filling Ian’s very big shoes, we really appreciate it.
We are fortunate to have a Patron in the former Commissioner Grey who is very keen and supportive of the role of the AFPFMA, and he was hoping to be here in person, unfortunately ill health has precluded this. We meet up with Commissioner Grey whenever possible and we are always keen to seek his counsel and guidance. Commissioner Grey is eager for other former Commissioners to join the AFPFMA and we agree, and we will be pursuing that.
The last year has been a very challenging one, for all of us with the continuation of the Covid Pandemic impacting on the Associations ability to provide activities and social interaction and connectivity. These are critical activities for the aim of the AFPFMA, and as such we believe that we will be able to build upon these activities in the year ahead.
The aim of the AFPFMA is to connect our members to prevent isolation in their retirement and to assist them in their physical and mental well-being. The executive has been undertaking both physical and virtual coffee catch-ups, contacting our members who are facing physical and mental challenges, through illness, accidents, and other issues as a result of their service
Whilst we are still in our infancy, the Executive is very much aware that we need to grow our footprint and to explore many more option to assist our membership. To that end we have been involved discussions to achieve this.
Over the past year we have engaged in discussions with the AFP, which, although hampered by Covid, have recently showed great progress. Through these discussions there is every reason to believe we are close to forming a very valuable and mutually beneficial partnership with the AFP. Transitioning from service can be an incredibly challenging process and we will work together with the AFP to ensure that a member transition is undertaken, the AFP SHIELD Program through Employee Assistance Program, can assist members and their families for up to five years after their service with the AFP.
We are also pursuing assistance for transitioning and former members who may be seeking further employment, through the provision of Recognised Prior Learning, assistance with CVs, and access to an employment database. We hope to be able to share more in the coming months.
Ian Jacko Jackson was the driving force behind the creation of the AFPFMA Welfare Fund and as such to honour his commitment and vision we have decided to call the fund The Ian’ Jacko Jackson Welfare Fund. Jacko was moving the fund towards becoming a registered charity and the Executive Committee will continue to do so. We encourage you all to make us aware of members who may need assistance or to know that others care, so please inform us so that we can act.
Change of logo
We have received several comments from both former AFP members seeking to join, and from other organisations who have been confused by our branding i.e., logo and the numerous Facebook pages which have linkages to the AFPFMA name. We have engaged two communications experts who have evaluated the issue, and both have strongly recommended that we change the Logo’s to differentiate the AFPFMA, a registered organisation for the assistance of its membership, from those Facebook pages. The AFPFMA Executive Committee is committed to undertake this process as a matter of priority.
Change of name
The current name is seen by some as clunky and representing of more what we were, than who we are now. We want to ensure that our name and brand is fully representative of the membership which includes those who have served in a variety of roles in every state and territory and abroad. Members who have been Sworn members, in National or ACT policing, members who are what was known as Unsworn or Professional Staff members who really serve in many frontline policing roles and the Protective Service Officers.
To achieve this, we propose to undertake a review and seek input from our membership. There has been a push to be a standalone name of AFP Police Veterans, we must ensure that this is representative of who we are, that is why we will seek contributions from both within and outside the AFPFMA for comment
Diversity of committee
The AFPFMA Executive Committee is committed to have as much diverse representation as our actual membership. We have members from National and ACT policing and from the states and territories, we also have state representative in each state and territory. We always encourage anyone with an interest in the association to step forward to participate in a more active manner.
We will be looking to make more use of our state and territory representatives as both a social coordinator and as a point of contact with the committee for issues arising in their area, so we can assist and lend support where possible.
Traditionally merchandise associated with police and former police organisations has had more focus on the male members. We will be seeking to ensure that the diversity of our membership is catered for and will be seeking input from you as to what types of merchandise is of interest so that we can ensure everyone catered for where possible.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to both congratulate on their work, and thank the members of the Executive Committee and others who ensure the AFPFMA functions.
Greg Ranse has been tireless in his work as Secretary, keeping the AFPFMA on track and has been of immense assistance to me in my role. Greg has been great in our discussions with both the AFP and other organisations which we are seeking to partner with, for the benefit of our members, and not to mention always there to ferry us both to meetings which is very much appreciated.
Michele Hawley has been so dedicated in taking over from Ian as Treasurer as we previously spoken about. She has been excelled in the role, and we value her ongoing contributions.
Juani O’Reilly is always there to assist and provide much valued advice, and assistance especially in identifying and seeking external advice for us.
Thank you to our inaugural President Mick Doroshenko, who continues to run the Merchandise operation for us and is always there for us to seek advice and counsel from
Gary Brown, Mark Hancock provide the AFPFMA with great support and advice and are always available for us.
I would also like to thank our State Representatives Paul Taylor, Michele Hawley, David McRae, Irene ‘Skip’ Menhennit, Mark Hancock, and everyone involved in coffee catch ups, reaching out to members in need and many other activities.
Thank you all for your support, and let us hope that 2022 is an even better year for the AFPFMA
David Savage AM