Ben Bjarnesen BM (2001) is an Old Boy who is going places. As a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in September 2017 he will be travelling to USA, Canada, UK, Ireland and The Netherlands to research his project of “Enhancing the Police response to LGBTI Domestic Violence”. Fellow Old Boy, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland presented Ben with his award in a ceremony at Government House on Friday 3 March 2017. As a Senior Constable in the Queensland Police force, Ben witnesses firsthand the complexities of domestic violence issues. With a disturbingly high rate of incidents and an equally disturbing low rate of reports, through the fellowship Ben has an opportunity to turn the tide on this serious social issue. To read more about Ben’s research project, please click here to view the Media Release.

Interestingly, this was not Ben’s first visit to Government House. In November 2016, he was awarded a Bravery Medal for a considerable act of bravery in hazardous circumstances. On this occasion, Ben was again honoured to have the Governor conduct the presentation. It was on the afternoon of 28 October 2012 when, together with two colleagues and a security officer, Ben entered a block of burning timber home units in Roma to search for a man. Intense smoke forced them to retreat but on hearing a voice from the rear of the units, Ben re-entered the building. His colleagues raced around the back and thankfully located the man there. He had managed to escape out a back door. Only when all residents had been moved to safety did Ben leave the building. Earlier acknowledgement of Ben’s bravery came when the Queensland Police Commissioner presented him with a “Commissioners Certificate for Notable Action” in relation to the house fire for which he received the Bravery Medal.

We are very proud to have such a brave and strong contributor to the frontline of community service among our Old Boy ranks.

Above Left: Ben with the Queensland Police Commissioner when he received a “Commissioners Certificate for Notable Action”
Above Right: Ben with his mother and sisters at the Bravery Medal presentation.

Feature Image: Bravery Medal presentation – Ben is standing in the back row, fifth from right.