Administrator's speech at a reception for front line service personnel involved in the shooting response on 4 June 2019

Occasion: Reception for Front Line Service Personnel Involved in the Shooting Response on 4 June 2019
Location: Government House

The Honourable Nicole Manison, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services;

Mr Gary Higgins, Leader of the Opposition and Mrs Rhonda Higgins;

Mr Grant Nicholls, Acting Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services;

Distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you to Government House this evening.

As is our custom of deep respect, I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we gather on this evening and the waters of the Darwin region – the Larrakia people. I acknowledge Larrakia Elders past, present and emerging.

The events that occurred on Tuesday the fourth of June were shocking.

The breaking news that evening stopped us all in our tracks.

Such incidents strike deep. They cause us to pause, look around ourselves and remember our own mortality.

They remind us that nothing is certain.

And, as a result, they remind us of the importance of our family, friends and colleagues.

The importance of holding them tight, appreciating them and being grateful for what we have.

They remind us of the fundamental importance of our front line services.

They remind us to say thank you.

It is because of your professionalism, dedication to duty and bravery that more lives were not lost in the course of those events.

Many of us cannot begin to imagine the courage, commitment and resolve it takes to enter into such situations. Unwavering, dealing with immediate danger without faltering.

I believe that how we act in situations such as these tells all about our character. And it is clear that the strength of character shown by each of you that evening played a vital part in the success of the operation.

Whether entering directly into the active situation, dealing with the immediacy of calls in the communications centre or coordinating the response as events were still unfolding, it is clear that your professionalism, dedication to duty and bravery shone through.

The strength of leadership shown in the coordination of the response was remarkable, and I commend those involved on their wise, effective approach.

Each day you, as front line personnel put your personal wellbeing and safety on the line to ensure the security of our Territory communities.

These are not professions where it is easy to go home each night and forget about the events of the day. You don’t start a shift in the certainty of knowing what the day – or night - may bring.

The jobs you are called out to deal with may be traumatic. Requiring you to dig deep and manage considerable stress.

Shift work takes a toll not only on life with family and friends, but also on health - physically and psychologically.

I know that for many of you, much of your work takes place behind the scenes, and serving on the front line can often be a thankless task.

I assure you that your work, and your ongoing contribution to the Territory and Territorians is recognised, and truly appreciated.

Craig and I thank you, wholeheartedly, for your sacrifice, your courage and your commitment to keeping Territorians safe in the most difficult of circumstances.

I also thank your families. The ones who see you off at the beginning of a shift, not knowing what will happen.

I am grateful for the strength and support they provide that makes it that bit easier for you to do your remarkable work each day.

On behalf of all Territorians, thank you for your service.

I am now pleased to invite Acting Commissioner Grant Nicholls to the lectern.