St Michael's NSW Police Memorial Chapel
On 1 May 1984 the NSW Police Academy became a residential facility transferring from Redfern to the premises of the former College of Advanced Education in Goulburn. Following the relocation from Redfern to Goulburn the Commissioner approved the construction of a Police Chapel and Walls of Remembrance at the Academy. On 1 March 1987 the foundation stone was laid by His Excellency Air Marshal Sir James Rowland, A.C., K.B.E., D.F.C., Governor of NSW.
On 12 July 1990 the Police Chapel was dedicated by the senior police chaplains and the Walls of Remembrance were unveiled by Lady Martin on behalf of her husband, His Excellency Rear Admiral Sir David Martin, K.C.M.G., A.O., Governor of NSW.
The setting of the Chapel is aesthetically pleasing with an outlook to the North East, the natural sunny aspect. Nestled protectively into a gentle slope, the view is across a body of water giving a sense of serenity. The building is simple, starkly white and of pleasing symmetry without ornate enhancement.
A plain cross surmounts the spire formed at the junction of two walls meeting at right angles. the eastern, or entry wall, completes a triangle which is the basic design of the chapel. This wall is fully glazed opening the interior to sight and natural light. The side walls extend beyond the front glass wall in a gentle curve enclosing a grassed and paved court yard which provides a space for chapel overflow or for assembly and congregation socialisation in the immediate chapel precinct.
The overall effect is that of a timeless edifice combining utility of purpose with purity of design. The curve of the walls reflects the sweep of the roof canopy and the gentle slope of the surrounding lawns into which the chapel is set amid native trees.
The chapel embodies the idealistic commitment of the Police Force to the spiritual as well as the temporal. It is a haven for consolation, contemplation and worship, and also provides a practical venue for ethical instruction, advise and counselling.
It is a place for weddings, baptisms, funerals and commemorative services. Being multi-denominational it appropriately reminds us of the cultural diversity of the community - a reflection of life itself. It is a place where people find succour and is a focus of worship, religious observance and celebration.
Philosophically, the chapel manifests the determination of the Police Force to utilise those qualities new recruits, selected for their unblemished character and possession of desire to serve the wider community, bring with them.
The blue of the carpet is the NSW Police uniform blue. The Australian and State flags, as well as the NSW Police flag, are prominently displayed.
The junction of the walls encloses a space providing a private room for the officiating chaplain.
The stained glass windows on either side of this room are a special feature. Multi-shaped glass creates an array of colour which dances across the adjacent walls. The phenomenon occurs when sunlight passes through the translucent roof section, reflecting a kaleidoscope of shapes and colours which engenders a sense of wonder in all who experience the effect.
The Walls of Remembrance
The Walls of Remembrance are a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by officers of the NSW Police Force and those who died in the course of carrying out their duty. The Walls are a symbolic link with all those who have served and those yet to serve. The extended Walls of Remembrance carry polished granite plaques.
The Memorial Wall to the north bears the name of every police officer who has died in the course of duty since the inception of the NSW Police Force on 1st March 1862. The facing wall carries the Honour Roll and records the names of officers who volunteered to serve in the armed forces in times of war.
Since its opening the Chapel has become an integral aspect of the Academy's environment. It visibly symbolises those positive attitudes, values and ideals which the community expects and demands of its police force.
The NSW Police Force gratefully acknowledge the support of the follow:
- Police Wives & Friends Support Group
- Police Bank
- NSW Police Association
- NSW Government
- Serving and retired Police Force personnel
- Goulburn and district civic and business communities
- Individual and corporate donations
Of particular note is the contribution made by the spouses, particularly the wives and widows of serving and retired police. These people share and have shared the joys and sorrows of their spouse's vocation.
Education & Training Chaplaincy
Police Chaplains provide a number of services for NSW Police Force employees and policing students, including:
- Respond to critical and traumatic events
- Counselling regarding personal and moral problems relating to work, marriage, relationships and family
- Involvement when required in the preparation and celebration of marriages, baptisms and other religious services
- Hospital calls and house calls in cases of illness
- Perform or attend police funerals and assist families in times of bereavement, if appropriate
- Involvement in all levels of police training
- Assignment to various police functions to offer prayers, invocations, benedictions and dedications
- Supporting police officers at emergency situations and at the scenes of disasters
- Performing other functions at the request of the Commissioner