Former Victoria Police commissioner Christine Nixon made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)
Monday, 14 June 2021
Today we are confronted with this disgrace.
The awards committee appears to have forgotten a few noteworthy events during Ms Nixon's 'distinguished service to law enforcement'.
1. For abandoning her post during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, while 173 Victorians were killed
I had to eat
Ms Nixon went to the pub with her husband John, Police Appeals Board chair Bernice Masterson and Lita Bostjancic, Ms Nixon's executive assistant at the time.
When confronted by the Herald Sun about going out to dinner moments after being told of the expected loss of life, Ms Nixon said: "I had to eat, it's as simple as that."
Ms Nixon, who later conceded she should have remained at work, was recalled to the bushfire royal commission to account for her movements after failing to mention during her first appearance that she also had her hair cut and met her biographer during the day.
Ms Nixon says her phone was "unusually quiet" when she was at dinner with friends on the night Victoria burned.
She admits that between 6pm and 9pm there were no calls or text messages as she sat in the Metropolitan Hotel's bistro, but denies she had her phone switched off.
She explains the phone silence by saying that "this is when the maelstrom struck" and the people co-ordinating the emergency response were too busy to call her.
2. For services to corrupt police and lawyers, especially during her stewardship of the force during the Nicola Gobbo 'Lawyer X' scandal.
Overland says newly discovered diaries prove Christine Nixon knew about Lawyer X
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Exhibit RC0981b Supplementa... by Michael Smith on Scribd
3. For using her position to help herself to a free Qantas A380 flight, then lying about it, then getting caught and issuing a forced apology.
Here she is about to board a Qantas A380 on a free ticket she unlawfully accepted as Chief of Police and later lied about.
Chief owns up to junket blunder
THE Office of Police Integrity grilled Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon in a private hearing over her free Qantas trip and demanded she issue yesterday's embarrassing apology that she should not have accepted the flight.
Ms Nixon was officially summoned to a confidential OPI session on Thursday, where director Michael Strong made it clear to her that she had breached the police internal code of conduct on accepting gifts.
She was told that unless she apologised and agreed to make a repayment there would be a protracted investigation into the free flights fiasco — a controversy that would cloud her last few months in office.
The Age can reveal that the OPI began its investigation after it received a complaint from Qantas, which had provided the trip for Ms Nixon and her husband, John Becquet, a former executive with the airline.
Ms Nixon and Mr Becquet were guests with VIPs and media on the first flight of the airline's new A380 super jumbo from Melbourne to Los Angeles on October 20.
Four days later, Ms Nixon denied her position had led her to receive the offer, saying she had taken the flight to accompany her husband. "At no stage was this travel undertaken by me as part of my role as Chief Commissioner, nor was I representing Victoria Police," she said.
But Qantas told the OPI the offer was made to Ms Nixon because of her position as Chief Commissioner.
Qantas contacted the OPI after it received a series of complaints from former executives asking why they had not been offered the same flight.
Finally, media who've been briefed on Ms Nixon's award today report that it's due in large part to her purported role in recruiting women to the force.
Ms Nixon says changing the face of Victoria Police remains one of her proudest achievements in a long policing career. “I was always keen for people to understand women could do that job,” she said.
“I gave a speech when I was sworn in and said don’t underestimate women. We can set standards and do the work … just ask any mother.
“There is a lovely line that says ‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it’. For women to see me in a role like that was important.”
I joined the Victoria Police in 1986.
Here's our squad photo.
There were 25 of us - 10 women.
That's an actual recruitment result of 40% women - back in 1986, long before Christine Nixon came on the scene to 'change the face of policing'.
This award is a dreadful slap in the face for fair dinkum working police everywhere.