AFP Former Members who have passed away since 1979. We say goodbye to those members who have served, and we say thank you for your service. R.I.P. Our sincerest condolences to family and friends, both blood and blue.

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March Tributes

DateTypeEvent
01-03-1992Died on this dayDaryl John PURVIS aged 44
05-03-2008Died on this dayColin Raymond MEDLOCK aged 68
05-03-2014Died on this dayMichael Brian STIRLING aged 43
05-03-2015Died on this dayRobert Patrick "Pat" Conroy aged 75
06-03-2018Died on this dayBryan Philip CHAPMAN aged 72
07-03-2007Died on this dayBrice STEELE aged 35
07-03-2007Died on this dayMark David SCOTT aged 41
07-03-2009Died on this dayGraham Leslie SHINNICK aged 65
10-03-1994Died on this dayPatrick Redmond McCARTHY aged 59
10-03-2015Died on this dayChristopher Charles SMYTH aged 60
10-03-2017Died on this dayRoger Lucien MARIN aged 69
12-03-1997Died on this dayAlick TONKIN aged 59
12-03-2019Died on this dayWilliam John SPURLING aged 79
12-03-2020Died on this dayNorman "Norm" HEADLAND aged 95
13-03-1996Died on this dayStephen Richard HILL aged 37
13-03-2010Died on this dayStephen James POTTER aged 60
13-03-2016Died on this dayTerence William BURTON aged 70
14-03-1986Died on this dayLawrence FOSTER aged 51
14-03-2020Died on this dayShaun Jeffrey O’Reilly AGED 49
15-03-1999Died on this dayLloyd Seth MEREDITH aged 61
17-03-2014Died on this dayAlan Earl NASH aged 66
17-03-2019Died on this dayFrank Joseph VLASICH aged 60
20-03-2003Died on this dayJurgis (George) DUBICKAS aged 54
20-03-2009Died on this dayKeith Henry "Cowpuncher" GORDON aged 72
21-03-2012Died on this dayLynn Ann HOSKIN aged 36
25-03-2001Died on this dayRobert CONNOLLY
28-03-2018Died on this dayChristopher Alexander BUTTNER aged 75
30-03-2003Died on this dayTerrance John BARRY aged 55

In Memoriam


1 March 1992 – Daryl John PURVIS – Detective Sergeant – AFP975
Daryl was born on 29 March 1948. He joined the Commonwealth Police in Sydney and transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979. Daryl served in many areas of policing in Eastern Region. On Sunday 1st March 1992, while holidaying on the south coast of NSW, and after mowing the lawn of his holiday house, he went to shower before having a beer with neighbours and died un-expectantly aged 44 years.


5 March 2008 – Colin Raymond MEDLOCK – Retired Federal Agent – AFP1495
Colin (Big Col) (Big Fella) Raymond MEDLOCK was born in Temora in 1940 and passed away aged 68. He joined the Commonwealth Police and transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979. He worked mainly in Eastern Region and served on the 13th Cyprus Contingent (April 1976 – April 1977). For his service, he was awarded the Police Overseas Service Medal – Clasp CYPRUS – 8th of July, 1992.


5 March 2014 – Michael Brian STIRLING – Leading Senior Constable – AFP10096
Mick was born on 2 August 1970 and passed away on the evening at home in Canberra, following a long illness, aged 43 years. He worked in Canberra.


5 March 2015 – Robert Patrick (Pat) CONROY – Detective Senior Sergeant – AFP536
Pat was born on 16 June 1939 and died aged 75. Pat’s career began with the Commonwealth Police. On Thursday 6 July 1978, it was promulgated in the Commonwealth Police Gazette, No. 14, under Awards “Commissioner’s Compliments – Detective Senior Constable R. P. CONROY (Queensland District) – For through criminal investigation and excellent co-operation with State Police and Australia Post Security Office resulting in the apprehension of an offender for stealing”. Comment: No certificates or award ceremonies in those days, good policing was simply acknowledged by publication in the police gazette. Pat transitioned into the AFP in 1979. He worked mainly in Northern Region, and was a member of the Organised Crime Branch.  Pat was a member of the 19th Cyprus Contingent (June 1982 – June 1983) and he retired from the AFP in June 1995. For his service he was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp
  • National Medal – 2nd Clasp
  • Police Overseas Service Medal – Clasp CYPRUS


6 March 2018 – Bryan Philip CHAPMAN – Retired Station Sergeant – AFP1214
Bryan was born on 31 January 1936 and passed away aged 72 years. Station Sergeant CHAPMAN joined the Commonwealth Police on 5 May 1975, transitioned to the AFP in 1979 and was based in Eastern Region Sydney working in Close Personal Protection, Drug Operations, General Duties and General Crime, retiring from the AFP on 20 June 1990. Station Sergeant CHAPMAN was awarded the:

  • National Medal
  • National Police Service Medal
  • AFP Service Medal


7 March 2007 – Brice Steele – Commander – AFP5069

Brice was born at Kyabram, Victoria, on 11 August 1971 and he died in a plane crash at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, aged 35. He was sitting with his colleague Mark SCOTT in the front row of the Garuda Airlines Boeing737 that overshot the runway and crashed into a paddy field at Yogyakarta airport on March 7. Brice was independent minded and a precocious reader from a young age. At St Paul’s Anglican Boys School he took up Chinese language studies, which he continued for a fill-in year at university while he waited to enter the AFP. Beyond that he was self-taught, yet fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese dialects.

Brice joined the AFP on 2 July 1990 and after completing his training went to Southern Region where on 11 August 1994 he was designated a Detective. Commander STEELE moved quickly up the ranks after joining the AFP at aged 19 as the academy’s youngest cadet. He managed investigations into the areas of economic crime, transnational narcotic offences, organised crime and child exploitation. Brice landed the senior liaison officer post in Beijing and headed there in March 2002. In the brief period on his return to Australia between the Beijing and Jakarta postings, he was promoted thrice: to manager of the AFP’s international liaison network; then to manager, counter-terrorism (international); and finally to manager of the AFP’s Indonesian office. For his service Brice was awarded the National Medal.

Click on the link to read the full Valedictory for Brice: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AUFPPlatypus/2007/2.pdf


7 March 2007 – Mark David SCOTT – Detective Sergeant – AFP4571

Mark was born on 9 October 1965 and he died in a plane crash at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, aged 41. He was sitting with his colleague Brice STEELE in the front row of the Garuda Airlines Boeing737 that overshot the runway and crashed into a paddy field at Yogyakarta airport on March 7.

Mark joined the AFP on 21 September 1987 and upon the completion of his training he worked in General Duties in Canberra before transferring to Northern Region.  In 1991 he was ‘Dux’ of his Investigators Training Course and shortly afterwards he moved back to Canberra where he mainly worked during his 20-year career, before taking up postings to Cyprus (May 1999 for 6 months), Burma, Singapore and Indonesia. Commissioner KEELTY said SCOTT’S “Leadership in Indonesia contributed to the capture of people responsible for the 2005 Bali bombing, preventing further attacks and disrupting terrorist networks in South-East Asia”. Sergeant SCOTT was a key figure in the regional fight against terrorism. He was leader of the AFP’s regional engagement team based in Jakarta and was travelling ahead of a planned visit to Yogyakarta by Mr RUDDOCK and Foreign Minister Alexander DOWNER when the crash occurred. For his service he was awarded the Police Overseas Service Medal – Clasp CYPRUS and the United Nations Medal.

Click on the link to read the full Valedictory for Mark: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AUFPPlatypus/2007/2.pdf


7 March 2009 – Graham Leslie SHINNICK – Senior Constable – AFP773
Graham “Shins” SHINNICK was born in Adelaide on 26 April 1944 and died aged 65 years. He joined the ACT Police and transitioned to the AFP on Foundation Day in 1979, working in Canberra. Graham was a member of the 17th Cyprus Contingent (April 1980 to June 1981). He was a “self-taught artist who was a late comer to art, picking up a brush and painting his first piece in 1986. During his lifetime he had several major solo exhibitions, and exhibited alongside other Australian artists including Pro Hart. In the early 1990s, one of his paintings was chosen as the first in a collection of local artworks being established by the ACT Government.” For his service Mr SHINNICK was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp
  • Police Overseas Service Medal – Clasp CYPRUS


10 March 1994 – Patrick Redmond McCARTHY – Retired Federal Agent – AFP1115
Patrick was born on 6 March 1935 in WA and died at Greenmount, WA, aged 59 years. He served in the RAN for 6 years before joining the Commonwealth Police and transitioning to the AFP on Foundation Day in 1979. Patrick worked in Western Region during his policing career.


10 March 2017 – Roger Lucien MARIN – Retired Federal Agent – AFP2149
Roger was born on 20 April 1947 in Italy and migrated to Australia with his family in 1954. He died aged 69. Roger joined the Commonwealth Police and transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979. He worked in Southern Region during his policing career. For his service, he was awarded the:

  • National Medal – 25th of March, 1999
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp – 25th of March, 1999
  • Police Overseas Service Medal – Clasp EAST TIMOR – 10th of August, 2000


12 March 1997 – Alick TONKIN – Retired Detective Station Sergeant – AFP253
Mr TONKIN died alone in his home in a retirement village at Dee Why NSW, and passed away aged 59 years. After service in the NSW Police, he joined the Commonwealth Police. Mr Alick as OIC opened the Wollongong Office, c1976 with Constables Tom HANLON and Guy SLATER. He transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979, having worked in Eastern and Northern Regions.


12 March 2019 – William John SPURLING – Retired Commander – AFP95
Known throughout his AFP career as John SPURLING, he was born on 21 January 1940 and passed away aged 79 years. Mr SPURLING joined the ACT Police on 28 April 1962 (Badge 164). Early in his career he was a police motorcyclist before being promoted to Sergeant in 1975. He received his Detective designation also in 1975 and entered the AFP in 1979 as a Detective Inspector. By 1986 he relocated to the Sydney Office as Detective Superintendent and achieved the rank of Commander in that location. He often acted as Assistant Commissioner Eastern Region during that posting. In 1993 he transferred to the Brisbane Office in a similar role before retiring in December 1995. During his career Mr SPURLING qualified for the:

  • National Medal with 1st Clasp
  • National Police Service Medal
  • Australian Federal Police Service medal


12 March 2020 – Norman “Norm” HEADLAND QPM – Retired Detective Chief Superintendent – AFP14

click to enlarge

Mr HEADLAND was born on 10 June 1924 passed away aged 95 years. Following war service with the Royal Australian Navy, Mr HEADLAND joined the Commonwealth Investigation Service in 1951 at Brisbane, QLD. In November 1959, Norm was transferred to the Sydney Office of the CIS and he transitioned to the Commonwealth Police Force on 21APR1960. In February 1962, Norm was promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector in the Sydney Office. Following his promotion to Detective Chief Inspector in June 1969, Norm moved to Canberra. In February 1972, he was promoted to Superintendent as the OIC of QLD. On 31 December 1976, he was awarded the Queens Police Medal and in September 1977, he was promoted the Senior Superintendent and made the OIC of South Australia and Northern Territory Region. A year later, in September 1978, he became the Senior Investigator at the William Australian Royal Commission on Drugs. Norm who had been the OIC, ACT District (COMPOL) transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979 and was promoted to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent and became the first OIC of Internal Affairs. He later served as the OIC of Crime Policing, Logical Services and finished his career as the Principal of the AFP College. Norm retired from the AFP in June 1984, aged 60 years. A precis of his policing career has been video recorded by the AFP for historical purposes and can be viewed at https://www.afp.gov.au/node/1636.

After he retired from the AFP, Norm started a whole new career in law, this time as a member of the legal profession, having completed his law degree in 1984. For his service, Mr HEADLAND was awarded

  • World War II Campaign Medals
  • Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service
  • Commissioner’s Commendation for Meritorious Police Work
  • Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal


13 March 1996 – Stephen Richard HILL – Federal Agent – AFP2567

“Steve” was born on 17 November 1958 and he died in a twin-engine Cessna air crash while on a drug operation aged 37. He joined the AFP in 1980 and served as a uniformed officer in Canberra before moving to national police duties in Sydney, Canberra and Perth.

“On 13 March 1996, a Cessna 337C aircraft and pilot were hired so the passengers, who were Federal and State police officers, could complete an aerial inspection of some unidentified drums located in a small bay at Manypeaks, 45 km east of Albany, Western Australia. An attempt to reach the drums on foot had failed because of dense undergrowth. The flight departed Albany airport at 9am and it is believed the accident occurred between 9.20am and 9.25am.

The pilot was conducting a low-level inspection of the area in question to aid the inspection. The pilot was flying the aircraft in a steep, right turn at a slow speed when both engines lost power. As no fuel blockages were found, the most probable reason for the loss of power was the prolonged, unbalanced, right turn, which stopped the fuel feed to the right fuel sump from the right main tank. In less than three minutes, all useable fuel in the sump had been consumed and the engine stopped. The loss of power led to a loss of control and the pilot was unable to recover the situation prior to impact. The four persons on board, all of which were killed, were named as:
John BELL (pilot)
Federal Agent Stephen Richard HILL (Western Australia)
Detective Senior Constable Charles A SCOTT (Western Australia Police)
Peter SIEP (Customs Officer)

All three officers were based in Albany while Mr BELL, 61, was a former whale spotter employed by the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company. Mr SIEP, 39, had moved to Albany the year before while Detective Sergeant HILL, 37, was the first Federal officer to be stationed in Albany. Sen. Const. SCOTT, 39, was raised in Denmark and was stationed in Perth before moving to Albany”.


13 March 2016 – Terence William BURTON – Retired Sergeant – AFP1666
Terry was born on 1 May 1946 and passed away aged 70. Sgt BURTON was a former AFP member who commenced with the Commonwealth Police in 1979 before transitioning to the AFP later that year. Sgt BURTON initially worked at the St. Mary’s Munitions Filling Factory, Penrith, NSW before he transferred to the ACT in 1980 where he worked in the Diplomatic and Protection Unit and Defence Establishments. In 1981 he transitioned to ACT General Duties where he worked in a number of areas including the Safety Education Unit and Community Policing. He transferred to the Australian Bomb Data Centre in 1983 and qualified as a Police Bomb Technician the same year. Sgt BURTON was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1987. Sgt BURTON resigned from the AFP in 2000 before re-engaging as a contractor with Personnel Security Vetting in 2002 where he remained until his retirement in 2005. In recognition of his service he was awarded the

  • National Medal
  • National Police Service Medal


14 March 1986 – Lawrence FOSTER – Senior Sergeant – AFP323
Lawrence was born on 17 August 1935 and died at the age of 51 years. After service in the Australian Army he joined the Northern Territory Police in 1963, beginning a career which spanned 22 years and took him into a wide range of duties of both a generalised and specialised nature. During his service with the Territory, he was involved in general duties, traffic, prosecuting, public relations and research and planning. He was promoted in 1974 to the rank of Inspector in Research and Planning. Following Cyclone Tracy in December 1974, Lawrence and his family were evacuated by air from Darwin to Brisbane. He joined the Commonwealth Police in 1977 and in recognition of his experience in general policing and training, he was promoted to Senior Constable and transferred to the Police College. He provided extensive development and presentation of courses in all aspects of police duties, supervision and management. After transfer to the Systems Design Branch in 1983, he worked on the production of an online computer training package for computer operators. He obtained a Bachelor of Business Studies at Mitchell College, Bathurst, and was studying for a Diploma in Teaching when he became seriously ill.


14 March 2020 – Shaun Jeffrey O’Reilly – Senior Constable – AFP19780
Shaun was born on 13 April 1970 and passed away aged 49 years.  He joined the Australian Federal Police on 1 July 2009. During his AFP career, Senior Constable O’REILLY worked in ACT Traffic, Woden Patrol, ACT Watch House, TI Data Centre Operations and Crime Scenes and Forensics in Sydney. He deployed to Papua New Guinea in 2017-18 and for his service he was was awarded the

  • Police Overseas Service Medal
  • AFP Operations Medal
  • AFP Service Medal


15 March 1999 – Lloyd Seth MEREDITH – Retired Senior Constable – AFP1129
Lloyd was born on 2 October 1937 in WA and died at High Wycombe, WA, aged 61 years. Lloyd joined the Commonwealth Police and transitioned to the AFP on Foundation Day in 1979. His whole policing career was spent in WA working at all uniform stations, including general duties at Perth Airport. For his service he was awarded

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp


17 March 2014 – Alan Earl NASH – former PSO
‘Al’ as he was known was born on 19 September 1947 and died aged 66 years. He commenced his career in the AFP in 1980, transitioning to the Australian Protective Service (APS) in 1984. With the return of APS personnel to the AFP in 2002, Alan continued service until September of 2005. He died aged 66 years.


17 March 2019 – Frank Joseph VLASICH – Retired Sergeant – AFP2472
Frank was born on 24 April 1958 and  passed away aged 60 years. Mr VLASICH joined the Commonwealth Police on 22 May 1979 and transitioned to the Australian Federal Police on 19 October 1979. Mr VLASICH commenced his career at Sydney Airport where he performed a number of operational roles. In 1983 he completed a one-year posting to the UN contingent Cyprus. Upon his return, he resumed duties at Sydney Airport in May 1983, and then took a secondment to the National Crime Authority. Returning in 1988 to the Eastern Region Technical Unit where Mr VLASICH was promoted to Sergeant of Police Technical Unit Eastern Region. In 1997 Mr VLASICH was seconded to NSW Police Integrity Commission from 10 February 1997. Mr VLASICH resigned from the Australian Federal Police on the 30 December 1998. For his service to the AFP Mr VLASICH was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • Long Service Medal
  • Overseas Service Medal
  • United Nations Medal
  • Commissioners Commendation – Op Niacin


20 March 2003 – Jurgis “George” DUBICKAS – Senior Constable – AFP1070
George  was born on 31 March 1949 and migrated with his family to Australia in 1950. He passed away aged 54. He joined the ACT Police in 1974 (course 2/74) and transitioned to the AFP in 1979. He was based at City Station, ACT. For his service he was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp


20 March 2009 – Keith Henry “Cowpuncher” GORDON – Senior Constable – AFP1237
Keith was born on 3 March 1937 and died in Sydney aged 72 years. He was known as “Cowpuncher” which means “Cowboy” and Keith dressed accordingly, wearing country style shirts, blue denim jeans, slip on boots and he walked with a slight gait indicating he may have ridden a horse or two. “Cowpuncher” joined the Commonwealth Police working in Sydney and he transitioned to the AFP on Foundation Day in 1979. He worked in uniform and plain clothes before becoming the Transport Officer, responsible for all the vehicles in the AFP fleet in NSW, a position he held for many years. “Cowpuncher” was a down to earth person, some would say an ‘Ocker’, and he was not adverse to dressing up and attending AFP Re-union Balls in Canberra. Unfortunately over the years his nickname was shortened by some to ‘Puncher’. While he died in hospital in Sydney, prior to his death he had lived at Morisset, and was formerly a resident of Gordonville via Bellingen. For his service he was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp


28 March 2018 – Christopher Alexander BUTTNER – Retired Superintendent – AFP1049
‘Chris’ was born on 20 April 1942 and passed away aged 75 years. Mr BUTTNER joined the Commonwealth Police on 8 May 1978, transitioned to the Australian Federal Police in 1979 and separated from the Australian Federal Police on 1 July 2005 at the rank of Superintendent. Mr BUTTNER served most of his career in Sydney and was Coordinator Forensics Computer Crime at the time of his retirement. For his service Mr BUTTNER was awarded the

  • Police Overseas Service Medal
  • National Service Medal with 25 year Clasp


30 March 2003 – Terrance John BARRY – Senior Constable – AFP484
Mr BARRY was born on 1 March 1948 and died aged 55. He joined the ACT Police in the early 70’s and transitioned to the AFP on foundation Day in 1979.  He worked in General Policing joined and his last posting was at Belconnen, ACT. For his service he was awarded:

  • National Medal
  • National Medal – 1st Clasp

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