Graham John WRIGHT
New South Wales Police Force
Suicide due to depression
Died: December 2009
Funeral: 16 December 2009 Innes Gardens Memorial Park & Crematorium – Cremated
AS A police officer, his compassion for and dedication to road accident victims and their families was universally admired.
Those men and women touched by former Senior Constable Graham John Wright in life, lined up to honour him in death yesterday.
Graham, who passed away at age 43, was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and a friend to many.
Until two years ago, he also was one of the NSW Police Force’s finest, following in his father Geoff’s footsteps.
More than 250 mourners attended his full police funeral at the Innes Gardens Memorial Park and Crematorium.
All of Graham’s former commanders, a retired assistant police commissioner and members of the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Ambulance Service, farewelled their friend and colleague.
Graham spent his early years growing up in the NSW central-western town of Parkes, before his dad’s promotion prompted a move to Sydney, which is where he finished his schooling.
He had wanted to enlist in the Royal Australian Air Force but changed his mind and joined the police instead.
After a posting in Lake Cargelligo, in far-western NSW, Graham moved back to the central west, this time to the town of Forbes.
It was there he fell in love with Teresa and her daughter Naomi.
The couple was married in 1994.
Seven years later, Graham moved his family to Port Macquarie.
Senior Constable Jason Bentley, Graham’s partner until he left the force, admired the officer and the man.
“My world professionally and emotionally made a huge turn for the better when Graham Wright of Bathurst accident squad arrived in Port Macquarie to start work with me,” Sen Cnst Bentley said.
“Within an hour or so, I learnt of Graham’s other trait that we loved: his dark and measured sense of humour.
“Suddenly, and fortunately, I had a bloke who cared about me, cared about our work and would keep us laughing.”
Colleagues and friends identified this sense of humour and compassion as indicative qualities of Graham.
“Graham was continually praised by those he worked for: coroners, prosecutors, families and their victims,” he said.
“Those professionals were also regarded by Graham as mates.”
His work with victims and their families will be most remembered.
“Graham’s greatest talent was the humility and dignity he offered to the victims and their families,” Sen Const Bentley said.
For a long time, Graham fought depression. Those close to him knew the terrible battles he had with demons within.
Detective Inspector Paul Fehon, a friend of Graham’s and his most recent boss in Port Macquarie, said everything he did was for his family.
“He adored his granddaughter, Annalise, and wanted everything just right for us and her,’’ Det Insp Fehon said.
“His love, tenderness, strength of character and support can never be replaced .
“So many people feel his loss already. We will miss him terribly.”
Graham leaves behind his wife Teresa, daughter Naomi, granddaughter Annalise, parents Geoff and Dianne Wright, and his sister Tracey.
His family urged others living with depression, or who have family members who suffer from depression to phone the following agencies: beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36, Suicide Intervention Network and Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Graham suicided by use of a firearm after he left the NSW Police Force and was last with the Crash Investigation Squad at Port Macquarie, NSW.