The AFP emblem

The platypus has been adopted by the Australian Federal Police as a symbol representing the diverse requirements placed upon members in the execution of their duty. This unique and tenacious Australian animal is a survivor against increasing pressure from today's environment. It leaves no stone unturned in its daily pursuits and has equipped itself with a range of features to adapt to changes over many years.

Although generally a peaceful animal, the platypus is able to defend itself, if necessary, with a venomous spur. It is capable of passing unnoticed if required, yet it demonstrates an unfailing dedication to explore all possibilities in an effort to maintain its special place in Australia's environment.

This is done, at times, against larger and more powerful opponents – a quality admired and respected by members of the Australian Federal Police.

Platypus is Latin for "flat foot". Flat foot is also an old English term for police officers, who were always on their feet. As well as a general symbol, the platypus has been used by some specific aspects of the AFP.

Water Police

The AFP's water police section has used the platypus as its symbol for some time and in 1963 named the first AFP water police boat The Platypus. It was stored in Canberra until Acton was flooded and Lake Burley Griffin was formed.

Platypus magazine

This quarterly magazine was created to keep AFP members informed about the organisation. It was first issued in its current form on 1 January 1988.

Copies from 1998 to present are available online:

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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