Victoria Police’s finest honoured in Australia Day awards

A victim identification expert who’s gotten answers for the loved ones of those killed in some of the most horrendous events of our lifetime, a trailblazing crash investigator who has attended more than 500 serious collisions and an intelligence specialist who helped thwart multiple terror attacks have been recognised in the Australia Day honours.

Six Victoria Police members have this year been awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service and one employee bestowed the Public Service Medal.

Those being acknowledged also include a 47-year veteran who has managed the response to numerous bushfire and flood emergencies and a detective leading the fight against local crime who outside of work has led treks of Kokoda for hundreds of participants including emergency services and defence force personnel.

Inspector Wayne Martin, who joined Victoria Police’s Forensic Services Department in 1990, is a nationally renowned expert in disaster victim identification.

He has been a hands-on practitioner and performed leadership roles in numerous mass casualty incidents including the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people including 88 Australians died and the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami which claimed an estimated 230,000 lives.

Closer to home he attended the 1996 Kew Cottages fire which killed nine residents and managed identification of victims during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people perished.

Inspector Martin, a police officer for 41 years, has conducted himself with professionalism, integrity and a deep sense of compassion for victim’s loved ones.

He currently works at the Victoria Police Academy overseeing the curriculum for police training to become sergeants and managers.

Detective Sergeant Roslyn Wilson has dedicated 25 years of her 36-year policing career to investigating serious road crashes, becoming the Major Collision Investigation Unit’s first female detective sergeant on being promoted in October 2016.

She has dealt with some of Victoria’s worst road tragedies including the 2006 Mildura hit-run that killed six teenagers and a crash that killed seven people at Donald the same year.

More recently Detective Sergeant Wilson secured a 16-year jail sentence for a drug-affected driver who killed a pedestrian at Oakleigh in 2014, the highest sentence for culpable driving in Victoria at the time, and was an integral part of the taskforce that investigated the 2020 Eastern Freeway tragedy in which a truck fatally struck four police.

Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew McGowan, who joined Victoria Police in 1980, has dedicated much of his career to boosting Victoria Police’s security and intelligence capabilities.

He was part of the team that secured the successful prosecution of 19 people across Victoria and NSW as part of Operation Pendennis, Australia’s largest ever counter terror investigation.

His work was key in the investigation of a 2009 terrorist plot to target Holsworthy Army Barracks and the arrest and prosecution of three men planning a terror attack in Melbourne in 2018.

Detective Senior Sergeant McGowan is a champion for inclusivity, supporting LGBTIQA+ and culturally and linguistically diverse police in the progression of their careers.

Detective Inspector Andrew Glow became a police officer 47 years ago, most recently serving with the Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team which sees Victoria Police team up with Australian Federal Police to identify and rescue vulnerable children from harm.

Between August 2018 and July 2023 he was stationed with State Emergencies and Support Command, managing the State Police Operations Centre during numerous significant incidents.

These included the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2022/23 floods which ranked as one of the largest in Victoria’s history.

Outside of work Detective Inspector Glow has since 2018 volunteered with the State Emergency Service, undertaking lengthy regional and interstate deployments in his holidays.

Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Jenks has been in charge of Melton Crime Investigation Unit since 2011, leading efforts to reduce crime in the area including youth offending.

He champions the professional development of junior detectives, having for five years worked at Victoria Police’s Detective Training School and spending four years with the Homicide Squad investigating numerous complex cases.

Detective Senior Sergeant Jenks also spent two years in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as part of an international policing deployment alongside the Australian Federal Police.

Since 2010 he has guided more than 25 treks of the Kokoda Trail, bettering the lives of more than 200 participants many of whom have been current and former emergency services and defence force personnel.

Superintendent David Griffin has served with distinction across a wide range of roles over 43 years, his expertise in road policing proving crucial in the 2012 establishment of Victoria Police’s Road Policing Command.

He continues to play a key part in efforts to reduce trauma on the roads, overseeing the force’s Road Policing Enforcement Division which works with other government organisations to ensure the integrity of Victoria’s road safety camera program.

Superintendent Griffin’s work has also included developing and implementing a force-wide plan to reduce vehicle theft which resulted in improved resolution rates and a reduction in overall crime.

Forensic Services Department director Catherine Quinn has been awarded the Public Service Medal having worked with Victoria Police for more than 35 years.

She joined in 1986, initially working as a drug chemist before rising through the ranks to her current role where she oversees an around-the-clock forensic service with a team of more than 300 professionals.

Ms Quinn has demonstrated exemplary commitment to the delivery of an effective and timely forensic capability to support the investigation and prosecution of crime.

She has championed the improvement of forensic practices and standards within Australia and overseas.

This has included improving safety training for chemists investigating clandestine laboratories and playing a crucial role in the establishment of a national working group focused on drug crime and reducing harm to the community.

Her leadership and advocacy have ensured Victoria Police’s forensic services continually evolve to meet the changing needs of the community and received international recognition.

Quotes attributable to Shane Patton, Chief Commissioner Victoria Police:

“Whether it’s been dealing with the aftermath of tragedy, responding to natural disasters or disrupting crime – the dedication of these employees has been unwavering.

“They represent all we aspire to be at Victoria Police – professional, compassionate and unwavering in our resolve to keep the community safe.

“There is no doubt our state is a better place because of their service.”

/Public Release. View in full here.