The Neighbourhood Watch board members and staff who represent the Neighbourhood Watch and Neigbourhood Support organisations of Australia and New Zealand. 

Bernie Durkin – President, Western Australia

Bernie is the Executive Manager for the Community Engagement Division of the Western Australia Police. Part of this role encompasses the position of WA State Director for NHW.

In 1988 Bernie joined WA Police as a sworn Police Officer then switching to a Public Servant in 2008.

In his current role Bernie manages a team of crime prevention community engagement staff and is extensively involved with NHW at both a State and National level. Bernie is currently the President of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.

Clare McGrath- Vice President, ACT

Clare is currently the Vice-President and Board Member of the ACT Neighbourhood Watch Association. Clare has been an active member of NHW since 1985, primarily in the Ainslie Suburb of Canberra where she has lived since 1962 after moving from Melbourne.

Clare is employed with the Australian Electoral Commission and this is a busy role. Clare is a self-professed sports lover and a one eyed Hawthorn supporter.

Margaret Pearson – Secretary/Treasurer

Throughout Margaret’s career she has made a significant contribution to the voluntary sector by being involved with numerous community organizations including ACT Neighbourhood Watch Association Inc. where she held a number of positions within that organisation currently as President.

Having lived overseas for a number of years Margaret returned, with her family, to Canberra where she continues to follow her great interest in local and international politics. Margaret is currently the secretary/treasurer of NWA

Maria Bennett – Chief Executive Officer

Maria has extensive knowledge, management skills and leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, working closely with many prominent charities and not for profit organisations. Prior to joining NHWA Maria was Director of a promotions company for 9 years and has had a successful career in corporate sales and marketing roles. Previous management roles in medical and health industries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, have provided experience in coordination of major projects and exposure to the differing legislative and regulatory environments involved as well as an awareness of the unique physical and social challenges each location brings.

Maria brings great enthusiasm to her role, acknowledging the vital contribution NHWA makes to crime prevention and community safety, as together we deal with many changes and challenges.

Brad Shepherd New South Wales

Chief Superintendent Brad Shepherd joined NSW Police Force in 1980. He currently serves as the Commander of Operational Programs and is the Corporate Sponsor for Crime Prevention and Chair of the Australia New Zealand Police Advisory Agency Crime Prevention Senior Officers Group. A 33 year career in law enforcement has spanned several roles including General Duties, Radio Technical, Covert Technical Surveillance.

Staff Officer, Counter Terrorism, Operational Communications and Local Area Commander. Brad holds a Bachelor of Business (BBus) and a Master of Business Management (MBA).

David Cowan – Victoria

Superintendent Dave Cowan has been with Victoria Police for 26 years and currently manages the Community Safety Division within the Corporate Strategy and Operational Improvement Department. The Division comprises of the Drug and Alcohol StrategyUnit, the Victims Advisory Unit. the Safer Communities Unit, Diversion Alignment Project and the newly formed Policing Innovation and Research Unit.

Dave has lead a range of organisational-wide reviews including counter terrorism; persons in police custody; family violence; and volume crime scene services in Victoria Police. Dave recently lead the development of the Victoria Police Corporate Plan 2016- 2018 which shapes the future direction of the organisation aligned to the Blue Paper.

Dave has a Graduate Diploma in Executive Leadership and in 2013 was awarded the Australian Institute of Police Management, Australasian Policing Scholarship where he undertook studies at the John F Kennedy Harvard School of Government.

Lee Taylor – Tasmania

Sergeant Lee Taylor has been a member of the Tasmania Police Service for 28 years and has been in his current position for approximately three years.  Since 1989 Lee has served in many sections throughout the state including Uniform, Traffic, Public Response, Licencing, Intelligence Support Services, Firearms Services and State Community Policing Services.  Lee recognises the integral role of community organisations in assisting police services with crime education and awareness, prevention and detection.

Superintendent Eric Tibbott – New Zealand

Superintendent Eric Tibbott assists the Commissioner of Police in driving the development and implementation of New Zealand Police’s Prevention First Strategy in accordance with Our Business.
Fosters a “whole of government” approach to prevention by actively supporting and contributing to the inter-agency development of policies and strategies for community based crime prevention.
Business process owner for the Police Deployment Model (Command and Coordination Centres & Tasking and Coordination) , Harm Reduction (Family Violence, Victims & Youth) and Community (Neighbourhood Policing, Schools & Alcohol Harm Reduction)

Les Bulluss – Queensland

Les joined the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in June 2000 after 13 years with the New South Wales Police. He has performed General Duties, Licensing, Water Police and Officer in Charge roles in New South Wales and Queensland.

In 2008 Les was promoted to Senior Sergeant. Officer in Charge, Thursday Island; the only police division in Australia with an international border. In 2010 Les was awarded a Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to Canada and USA to research ‘Culturally Appropriate Indigenous Community Policing Models’. Following the fellowship, Les made several recommendations to the OPS which were adopted into remote community policing models.

In 2011 Les was promoted to Inspector and in 2013 was appointed to his current role as Manager, Community Programs and Engagement. Community Contact Command.

Les’ portfolio includes the Crime Prevention, Cultural Support, Crime Stoppers, Victims Assist, Queensland Police Pipes and Drums, and Queensland Police Museum Units.

Les has a Graduate Diploma in Management from Central Queensland University and Graduate Certificate in Applied Management (Policing and Emergency Services) from Australian Institute of Police Management

Virginia Read – Northern Territory

Superintendent Virginia Read has recently been transferred to the Northern Operations Division which encompasses Community Safety and Engagement for the Northern Territory Police Force.  A police officer in the Northern Territory for thirty years, Virginia has served in a number of locations, her most recent move was from Alice Springs where she was stationed for the last three years.

With a long-term commitment to the Northern Territory, her new role provides the opportunity for Virginia to further promote community collaboration to address crime and antisocial behaviour issues.

Officer in Charge Jeff Knight – ACT Station Sergeant

Jeff Knight joined the Australian Federal Police in 1986, and currently serves as the Officer In Charge of Community Safety within ACT Policing. Throughout his career he has served in many areas including General Duties, Traffic Operations and Diversionary Conferencing Team, prior to being promoted to Station Sergeant in 2003.

Since that time Jeff has served as the Officer In Charge of most ACT Police Stations, prior to his appointment to Community Safety. He is proud to have been able to serve in a Community Policing role for the most part of his career and enjoys working with people at the grass roots level.

Jeff is keen to maintain the good relationship that ACT Policing has with the ACT Neighbourhood Watch, and is looking forward to his appointment as a Board Member of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.

Angela Moore – Project Administrator

Angela established her own bookkeeping business, Moore Bookkeeping, in January 2013 after completing a Diploma of Accounting in 2012.

Since 2009, Angela has undertaken the bookkeeping for her own business she owns with her husband and has a vast array of experience with many other businesses on the Sunshine Coast.

Angela is a BAS Registered agent, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Member in Practice and a Xero Certified Advisor who is passionate about the bookkeeping industry.

Ursula Macdermott – Public Officer, ACT

Ursula has been a community volunteer with NHWA since its inception in 2006. Based in the ACT, Ursula has served as a public officer since 2008.