Activity: Poetic Policing
Setting the scene
An underlying theme of the National Police Memorial is the notion of ordinary men and women doing the extraordinary on behalf of the Australian people and making the ultimate sacrifice. This is shown by a collection of quotes from an officer, colleague or loved one to communicate that those who have died lived lives not dissimilar to the visitor reading the quote.
A mix of both historical and contemporary quotes are incorporated to reflect the long and enduring history of sacrifice in the police services of the nation. The objective of the quotes is to provoke a rich variety of emotion that acts as a testament to the cost to the community of policing.
What to do
- Read the following quotes located at the National Police Memorial.
- Contemplate and reflect on the message behind each quote.
- Identify feelings and attitudes expressed by these messages.
- Assess your own personal feelings when reading these quotes.
- Write a poem dedicated to the police officers who have lost their lives serving the Australian community, or
- Write a short story about an imaginary family member or close friend who is a serving police officer
Considering the shocking wounds he received and the terrible agony he was in, his action after being shot leaves no doubt in my mind that he was one of the bravest policemen to wear the Queen’s uniform.
You epitomised the ideal character of a true policeman, integrity, honesty and courage.
Tragically, they will know of his bravery but he will not have the opportunity to see the positive impact of his work and his life.
He approached the gunman courageously despite the grave danger, with hands open, clearly showing that he was not armed – tragically he was fatally shot.
In vain they searched for the infamous Starlight in the vast and harsh outback in the height of summer. Their humanitarian endeavours ended by a ghastly fate.
An exploding landmine in an unmarked field.
Their children can never forget – nor should we.
The past six months have been the most difficult of my life. I remember how you smiled at me before you left for work that morning, and told me you loved me in a call later that day.
Dad, today marks the twenty-ninth year since you left this earth. Your granddaughter told me yesterday how much she wished you could have met.
Display everyone’s poems/short stories around the classroom. Each student selects three works and uses the following guidelines to assess their content.
- Is the content original? Explain your answer.
- Does the work present a stereotypical depiction of Australian policing? Explain your answer.
- How does the work engage the reader?
- What message does the work most strongly express?
- How does the work promote reflection?
- What type of audience would respond to this work?