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, Australian Capital Territory

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 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.

Anne Collishaw – Executive Assistant

Anne is a highly experienced, energetic and motivated finance and administration professional, with 19 years proven success in diverse administration, accounts, bookkeeping and customer service, across the Building and Construction, Engineering, Transport and Banking sectors. For six of those years Anne effectively completed PA duties for a CEO and Company Directors.

Anne holds a Certificate Level 4 in Bookkeeping and Financial Services and is proficient and current in the use of various software programs, including the ISO 9000 quality management system. Anne has 4 years’ experience in the Australian Defence Force and currently holds a Staff position in youth development programs.

Dr Carlene Mahoney New South Wales

Dr Carlene Mahoney is a Detective Inspector within the NSW South Wales Police Force with over 20 years experience, working in organised crime, child protection and is currently managing the social media presence for online community engagement.  Carlene also holds the position as an adjunct lecturer with the Terrorism and Security Studies, Charles Sturt University in Canberra. Carlene is currently undertaking a Masters in Terrorism, researching the complex social, political and international context of terrorism and contemporary security related issues.

Peter Edwards – Tasmania

Peter Edwards is a Commander in the Tasmania Police Service. He has extensive experience across diverse policing portfolios within his home state, as well as national and international law enforcement representation. He has served as a Detective, Prosecutor, Intelligence Officer and Head of Training. In recent years Peter has led the emergency management response to the bushfire disaster in south east Tasmania in 2013 and the state-wide recovery to the 2016 floods which severely impacted across the state. Peter is now the Officer in Charge of the Operations Support Command which includes responsibility for State Community Policing Services, the section which provides the police link to Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. Peter holds tertiary qualifications in management and policing. He has an interest in personal fitness and well-being through regular walking and swimming. He was awarded the Bravery Medal in 1989 and the Australian Police Medal in 2004.

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.

Jeff Knight – Australian Capital Territory

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.

Crispen Gargen

Crispin Gargan – Northern Territory

Not born but grown in the NT, I first joined the Northern Territory Police Force in 1995. During my policing career I have worked across the Northern Territory in both remote and urban areas including Alice Springs, Ntaria, Elliott and Darwin. Qualified to Detective in 2006, I have also had the opportunity to work in a diverse number of crime and specialised crime areas, most recently as Detective Sergeant in the Gangs Task Force within the Drug and Organised Crime Division. I have recently assumed the Acting Superintendent role in the Darwin Metro Support Division with oversight of the Alcohol Policing Unit, Community Engagement and Neighbourhood Watch.

I have a love of fishing, Hawthorn, and the unique lifestyle and opportunities that the NT presents for myself and my family.