Six dedicated officers acknowledged with the Australian Police Medal

Published Monday, 25 January, 2021 at 10:30 PM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, the Honourable Mark Ryan MP and Commissioner Katarina Carroll today welcomed the announcement of the six recipients from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) who will receive the Australian Police Medal (APM).

The QPS APM recipients share a diverse and experienced policing history, having served throughout Queensland in several different role and areas.

This year the recipients from the QPS are Acting Chief Superintendent Mark Kelly from People Capability Command, Superintendent Melissa Adams from Logan District, Inspector Paul Baker from South Brisbane District Forensic Unit, Detective Inspector David Hickey from Ethical Standards Command, Sergeant Cary Coolican from Far North District Crime Prevention and Sergeant Nadine Webster from Ipswich Crime Prevention.

All the recipients will be presented with their APM at an upcoming ceremony.

Commissioner Carroll said each of the APM recipients demonstrated the exemplary attributes of a QPS officer and she recognised their commitment to their roles. 

“The Australian Police Medal is a fitting acknowledgment of each recipient’s outstanding contribution and dedication to serving Queensland,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“The recipients personify our QPS values and are committed to their duties and keeping the Queensland community safe. 

“I would like to congratulate and give my personal thanks to each of them.”

Minister Ryan said he was proud to recognise the six officers who display courage, fairness and pride in all that they do for the Queensland community.

“The deserving APM recipients each have shown commitment and professionalism to all their duties,” Minister Ryan said.

“They have each provided dedicated and exemplary service to the QPS and the Queensland community, throughout their careers.

“I would like to congratulate them for receiving this high honour today.”

  • Acting Chief Superintendent Mark Kelly has been a member of the QPS for over 31 years. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership and management across operational and corporate environments and continually displays successful policing practices in his role. Acting Chief Superintendent Kelly is recognised for his integrity and resourcefulness in operational planning, change management and organisational improvement, particularly for his commitment to restoring communities during and after disaster events. Additionally, he was also responsible for the safety and security of dignitaries during G20 and served as Deputy Commander of the Joint Emergency Services Command Centre for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.


  • Superintendent Melissa Adams has been a member of the Service for over 29 years and is currently serving in the Logan District of the South Eastern Region. During her policing career, she has served in general duties roles in a variety of police stations throughout the state. She is an outstanding leader for QPS in responding to disaster events. During her role as Officer in Charge (OIC) of Rockhampton Police Station, she coordinated the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) response to bushfires, multiple flood events and cyclones. She has subsequently supported the State Disaster Coordination Centre (SDCC) during disaster events and in recent years, has been involved in the Ipswich LDMG response to COVID-19.


  • Inspector Paul Baker has been a member of the QPS for over 40 years and is currently serving as Inspector and Forensic Manager in the South Brisbane District, where he has been for seven years. During his career, Inspector Baker has spent a significant period as a Scenes of Crime (SOC) officer and has been instrumental in developing the strategic direction of forensics in Queensland and improving the SOC training course for new officers. He has also served in the role of Deputy Commander of the Disaster Victim Identification Squad, introduced Counter Terrorism training to forensics, researched and introduced Forensic Searching Teams to the QPS and co-ordinated Hazardous Environment Examination Teams (HEET) services to Queensland. Inspector Baker has been instrumental in raising the standards of forensic services delivery within Queensland and Australia and was influential in successful Disaster Victim Identification deployments to disasters including the Victorian bushfires, the Christchurch Earthquake and the Grantham floods.


  • Detective Inspector David Hickey has been a member of the QPS for over 37 years and is currently serving at the Internal Investigation Group (IIG), Ethical Standards Command. He has led investigations into a wide variety of cold case homicide investigations and complex investigations into deaths during policing operations on behalf of the State Coroner and has been vital to organisational improvement to the policing response to potentially violent confrontations. Detective Inspector Hickey developed critical incident training packages to build the capacity of regional officers involved in critical incidents.


  • Sergeant Cary Coolican has been a member of the Service for over 32 years and is currently OIC of the Cairns District Crime Prevention Unit (CPU). Her drive and commitment, coupled with her strong desire to make a difference, has seen her develop into a leader in the area of community policing, in particular, crime prevention. Sergeant Coolican is an influential figure in both the QPS and the community and is viewed as a leader and driver of change and service delivery innovations. Her commitment to revolutionising systems and processes is a credit to her as she continues to inspire and empower a generation of officers and community members. Sergeant Coolican fosters community relationships and brings awareness to crime and crime prevention through her contributions to the myPolice Far North network.


  • Sergeant Nadine Webster has been a member of the QPS for over 29 years and is currently serving as OIC of the Ipswich CPU. She coordinates and provides valuable support to local community groups and has developed valuable connections with members of the Ipswich community. Sergeant Webster reinforces the QPS ongoing commitment to partnerships that prevent crime and improve community safety through her contributions to the myPolice Ipswich network.

Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444