John Avery (police officer)

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John Avery
AO APM MA Dip Crim
17th Commissioner of the New South Wales Police
In office
7 August 1984 – 12 March 1991
Preceded by Cecil Abbott
Succeeded by Tony Lauer
Personal details
Born (1927-08-07) 7 August 1927 (age 90)
Alma mater Macquarie University
The former headquarters of the New South Wales Police Service was named the Avery Building in honour of former Commissioner Avery. Building seen here at centre of picture in College Street, Sydney in 2007.

John Keith Avery AO, APM (born 18 August 1934) was the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police from 1984 to 1991.[1]

John Keith Avery was the 17th leader of the organisation and the 10th person known under the title of Commissioner of Police.[2] Avery was one of the longest serving and more popular Commissioners of Police to serve the state of New South Wales.[3]

One of the first Police Commissioners to have a tertiary education, obtaining a master's degree from Macquarie University[4] and a Diploma in Criminology. He was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia, Australian Police Medal, Centenary Medal and National Medal.

He is also the author of a popular book titled Police - Force or Service?[5] which he wrote as an Inspector, ultimately resulting in the organisations' name being changed from NSW Police Force to NSW Police Service.[6]

The library at the New South Wales Police College at Goulburn is named in his honour. The former headquarters of the New South Wales Police in College Street, Sydney was also named in his honour, named the Avery Building until the headquarters moved to a new building in Parramatta in 2003. He has retired with his wife to Port Macquarie on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.


  1. ^ "Police Commissioners Of New South Wales". Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "New South Wales Commissioners of Police" (PDF). New South Wales Police. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Barbara Etter (1 Oct 2005). Success Stories in Policing. Police leadership in Australasia. Federation Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-1-86287-183-0. 
  4. ^ Jeff Jarratt (31 Jan 2000). "Pitfalls of the Introduction of Community Policing". 
  5. ^ Gordon Moyes (14 August 2007). "The Chief Commissioner of Police". Archived from the original on 17 October 2009. 
  6. ^ John Casey (22 August 2007). "Do We Really Need a Police Force?". [dead link]
Police appointments
Preceded by
Cecil Abbott
Commissioner of the New South Wales Police
Succeeded by
Tony Lauer