Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has been announced as the next governor of Western Australia.
“He’s an exemplary Western Australian of the upmost integrity and the highest character,” said Mark McGowan, the Premier of Western Australia.
The appointment will make Dawson the 34th Governor of Western Australia. He is set to replace Kim Beazley at the end of his four-year term, set to finish in May. Dawson was first appointed as Deputy Police Commissioner in 2008 and Commissioner in 2017 and ‘Vaccine Commander’ during the pandemic.
Dawson, who has played a leading role in Western Australia’s Covid response, will be sworn into the governorship in July.
“I have had 46 years in public life through law enforcement. It’s given me a wonderful opportunity to serve the entire State and visit nearly every town and community,” said Dawson.
“I love Western Australia. When the Premier first asked me if I would consider the role, I was somewhat taken aback and certainly surprised by the offer. The Premier asked me to talk to my wife about it. After discussing it, I’ve not hesitated to say yes.”
Not everyone has been thrilled with Dawson’s handling of the Covid pandemic, with Police Officer Ben Falconer launching a Supreme Court challenge against Dawson regarding vaccine mandates for the police force. Falconer (and others) in the police force have been fighting to keep their jobs. Their case remains underway despite Dawson’s appointment.
Serving Western Australian officers have voiced claims of vaccine bullying, with the comments made on an anonymous survey sent out by former officer Jordan McDonald to active Police employees. McDonald resigned in protest against the mandates, along with other officers who refused to adhere to Dawson’s vaccine order. An order that Dawson insists is not up for discussion.
“Commissioner Dawson has big shoes to fill, but I’m confident just as he has across a long career of public service, he’ll once again rise to the occasion,” added McGowan, upon Dawson’s appointment.
The Premier went on the praise the efforts of the former Labor Leader and outgoing Governor, Kim Beazley.
“As Western Australians, we should all be grateful for their devotion to duty and their important advocacy and support of a broad range of organisations and communities while performing the executive and constitutional roles.”