Former Victoria Police Commissioner and Castlemaine resident Christine Nixon has been made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The latest award for distinguished service to law enforcement, to women in policing and to tertiary education, adds to many awards Ms Nixon has received including the Australian Police Medal awarded in the Australia Day Honours in 1997; the Centenary Medal for outstanding service to policing; and recognition as an inductee to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2001.
Ms Nixon enjoyed a long and successful policing career including appointments as the first female Assistant Commissioner of New South Wales Police (1994-2001) and Australia’s first female Chief Commissioner with Victoria Police (2001-2009).
Ms Nixon said she was particularly proud to be recognised for her work to further women in policing.
“When I joined the New South Wales police force back in 1972, I was one of only 130 women. Today it’s wonderful to see so many more women taking on a career in the police force, but also to see more stepping up to take on leadership roles,” she said.
Since retiring to Castlemaine, Ms Nixon has continued her work in the tertiary and charity sectors, undertaking regular speaking and consulting engagements, joining the Castlemaine State Festival board, and squeezing in some time to enjoy her own passion for the arts – mosaics.
She is a staunch advocate for women in leadership and recently penned a book, Women Leading, with friend and colleague Professor Amanda Sinclair, which challenges tired prescriptions that women should lead like men, highlighting a long history of innovative female leadership.
Ms Nixon has also worked hard in the battle to address the scourge of violence against women.
She said violence against women remained a major issue today but there was far more awareness and support available to victims, and here in Victoria she was pleased to see the state government putting significant funding towards tackling the issue.
“I believe they have invested more than all the other states combined,” she said.
Ms Nixon was also pleased by the acknowledgment of her work in tertiary education.
She was proud to help Monash University with the development of its police studies course and also held the role of deputy chancellor for 11 years. She has also worked and consulted at various other universities – most recently Ballarat’s Federation University.
“I think education is so important,” she said.