Retirement of Superintendent Doreen Cruickshank
Statement in the House of Representatives
Parliament of Australia
14 September 2016
I rise to honour the career of Superintendent Doreen Cruickshank, Australia’s longest-serving female police officer, who recently retired after 45 years of service to the people of New South Wales.
Superintendent Cruickshank was born at a time when ‘female police officer’ was not part of the Australian vernacular. In a Gilgandra primary school she discovered her future career in a vocational guide that listed ‘police’ as a potential occupation. Intrigued, she spoke to a local sergeant, who was not exactly encouraging about a woman joining the police force.
Undeterred, she pushed on to become one of only 100 women officers in the state when she joined the force in 1971. She rose through the ranks, becoming a detective and receiving the Australian Police Medal in 2003 for her exemplary career.
Serving in many locations, she eventually became commander of the North Shore Local Area Command in my electorate. She joined at a time when women in the force were described as ‘air hostesses’, tending primarily to matters involving women and children. Today, they are officers serving in a force that is one of the most gender diverse in Australia.
She not only dedicated her life to protecting her fellow citizens but also to forging a way for all women to follow their desires and to fight for a better Australia.
Congratulations, Superintendent Cruickshank, on a defining career, and thank you for all that you have done for North Sydney and Australia.
You have been an incredible role model to so many who have followed in your footsteps, and I wish you well in your retirement.