Plaque Commemorating Queensland Police Apology Unveiled for IDAHOBIT

Plaque Commemorating Queensland Police Apology Unveiled for IDAHOBIT
Image: Image: QPS

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) today unveiled a plaque outside their Roma Street headquarters to commemorate the formal apology issued to Queensland LGBTQIA+ communities last year.

The event coincided with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Members of Brisbane’s LGBTQIA+ community, including the Brisbane Pride committee and president James McCarthy were in attendance.

Queensland Police Commemorate Formal Apology

It has been just over twelve months since the Queensland Police Service issued a formal apology to the LGBTQIA+ communities in Queensland.

The apology followed several years of conversation with the community after a request from Brisbane Pride for the Queensland Police members to not march in uniform at the Pride March in 2021.

Then Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll made the apology on January 30, 2023

“We may not always get everything right. But discrimination towards LGBTQIA+ people is not acceptable” she said at the time.

“And the Queensland Police Service will continue to work to eliminate it.”

The apology addressed the past harm and profound pain inflicted on LGBTQIA+ individuals by the police service, both historically and within the force.

Queensland Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski officiated the unveiling ceremony today.

Alongside the plaque, a new progress pride flag was raised, symbolising the ongoing commitment to fostering a more inclusive environment by the Queensland Police Force.

The plaque, titled “Queensland Police Service Apology and Statements of Regret to People from LGBTIQ+ Communities,” will serve as a reminder of the formal apology delivered by the former Commissioner.

Queensland Police Plaque
Image: QPS

Brisbane Pride: Our History, Our Future.

James McCarthy, President of Brisbane Pride, was present to witness the unveiling and spoke to those present.

In his speech, McCarthy emphasised the importance of recognising past injustices while looking forward to a future of collaborative partnership.

He acknowledged the efforts of former Commissioner Carroll and previous Brisbane Pride President Bec Johnson, who played pivotal roles in bringing about the apology.

McCarthy stated, “The Brisbane Pride theme for this year is Our History, Our Future, so it seems fitting that on this day, we unveil a plaque commemorating the Apology in 2023.”

“An Apology, that was the first formal sign of recognition and ownership from the Queensland Police Service for the trauma inflicted on members of our community.”

“The apology was a starting point, its purpose was to ensure, not only that our voices and experiences would be heard but changes would be made to the way our communities are seen and treated” he stated.

“Brisbane Pride remains committed to walking that journey in partnership with the QPS.”

Commissioner Gollschewski also spoke, highlighting ongoing initiatives, such as strengthening the LGBTIQ+ liaison program and forming an employee support network to better serve and connect with the community.

McCarthy also paid tribute to the LGBTIQ+ community members who had suffered and those who are no longer with us, acknowledging their resilience and the vital role they played in this journey.

“I hope this plaque remains the last plaque our community will ever require,” he said. “More than that, I hope it always represents the power of listening, community, collective action, and bravery.”

Queensland Police Plaque
Image: QPS

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