Three AFP officers recognised with Australia Day Honours

Three Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, with more than 88 years of policing experience between them, have been recognised in today’s 2020 Australia Day Honours list.

Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale, Superintendent Jared Taggart and Detective Superintendent Danielle Woodward will each receive the Australian Police Medal in recognition of their work through their diverse policing careers.

The Australian Police Medal is awarded for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police force.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw APM congratulated the officers, thanking them for their ongoing service to the AFP and dedication to keeping the Australian community safe.

“Lesa, Jared and Danielle’s work, both in Australia and overseas, is a testament to their exceptional commitment and professionalism. They all thoroughly deserve this recognition for their contributions to the AFP and to the Australian community they’ve sworn to protect,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

“Assistant Commissioner Gale should be incredibly proud of her commitment to our organisation, including her phenomenal energy and efforts on the frontline of child protection. She has forged important pathways for international cooperation to combat the exploitation of society’s most vulnerable.

“Superintendent Taggart’s work has seen him serve as a liaison officer in Suva, Manila and Yangon. He was deployed as part of the AFP response to the Bali Bombings, and more recently has played a key part in the AFP’s strategy of disrupting organised crime syndicates offshore. He has served the Australian community with distinction.

“Detective Superintendent Woodward has made a significant contribution to policing operations in Australia and overseas. She has played key roles in major investigations into organised crime groups, complex fraud and human trafficking. She has also served Australia with distinction in Timor Leste, and when deployed to the Hague as part of the response to the downing of MH17.”

Assistant Commissioner Gale joined the AFP in 1987, and a significant portion of her career has been dedicated to roles within child protection, where she has overseen significant reform in combating the exploitation of children and people smuggling. Assistant Commissioner Gale has pioneered pathways for International Law Enforcement Organisations to adopt a collaborative approach to child exploitation, human trafficking and slavery-related matters in the South-East Asia region.

Superintendent Taggart joined the AFP in 1999. He has performed to consistently high standards in roles which have taken him to posts throughout South East Asia and the Pacific. He has worked with local authorities and policing agencies to intercept and disrupt large scale illegal narcotic operations and enhanced cooperative partnerships to combat drug trafficking.

Detective Superintendent Woodward joined the AFP in 1986. She has made a significant contribution to domestic and overseas policing operations including the response to the downing of MH17 over Ukraine, and in Timor Leste where she was the first female commander of the volatile northern border district of Bobonaro. She was also part of the flag party that welcomed Timor-Leste as an independent nation in May 2002. She was recently seconded as a visiting Fellow to the Royal New Zealand Police College.

Editor’s note:

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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