I rise today to speak on behalf of the government on this condolence matter to mark the passing of Victoria Police member Senior Constable Bria Joyce. Senior Constable Joyce was tragically killed on 8 April 2022 whilst performing her highway patrol duties on a road in Red Cliffs, near Mildura. I know that this is an incredibly difficult time for Senior Constable Joyce’s family and friends, her Victoria Police colleagues and the broader Mildura community. Whilst we also know our words here today will not take away their pain, we hope that the knowledge that the government and Parliament are standing with them at this time eases it just a little.
Senior Constable Joyce entered the police academy on 22 August 2016, and she graduated eighth in her squad of 27. That November she was sworn in, before continuing her training with initial operational duties in the Melbourne CBD. Bria commenced work with the Mildura uniform in April 2018 and was confirmed as a first constable in November 2018 and promoted to senior constable some two years later. On 11 October 2021 Bria commenced her final assignment post with duties with Mildura highway patrol. Bria was a dedicated and passionate officer. She was passionate about serving her community, and that was apparent to all her colleagues and is why they had such a deep and abiding respect for her. She will always be remembered for the values she brought to the job and the impact that she had on those that knew her.
We grieve as a Parliament for the tragic loss of Senior Constable Joyce because we know the courage and commitment it takes to be a serving police officer. As they suit up for work each day they do not know the circumstances that they will confront on that day, and yet despite this they fasten that last shirt button, they lace up that shoe and they walk out the door to serve the Victorian community, regardless of the unknown. The Premier I think said it best when asked why we have so much respect for and give so much unqualified thanks to Victoria Police members. He said, and I paraphrase, ‘Because when we the public flee from danger, they run towards it, all in the name of serving and protecting their community. Nothing is more noble’.
I again extend our heartfelt condolences to Bria’s family and friends. Can I also extend those condolences to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Patton, to Police Association Victoria Secretary Gatt and to all past and present serving members of the Victoria Police force for the loss of their comrade. Vale, Senior Constable Bria Joyce.