The NSW Police Force has been rocked by the actions of another apparently suicidal officer.

This time a high-ranking officer is in a coma in hospital after trying to commit suicide in a hotel room, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Superintendent Paul Nolan, 54, was recently suspended from the force because he is under investigation by the Police Integrity Commission.

He was found unconscious about midnight on Tuesday.

The nature of the PIC investigation is unclear.

This latest incident comes after Commissioner Ken Moroney last week expressed concerns about mental health issues among the force, publicly telling his officers that it was “OK to cry“.

In January, 29-year-old Constable Greg Lundberg committed suicide with his pistol in Menai police station due to personal problems.

Last month a 39-year-old senior constable barricaded himself inside Earlwood police station and threatened to take his life.

Earlier this month, 27-year-old Constable Nathan Hearps from Quakers Hill plunged to his death from a Surry Hills apartment block, News Ltd reports.



“Bitchy, black and beautiful”

Nathan HEARPS 2 - NSWPF - Suicide 6 May 2007

Darren Budda-Deen, received his drag name ‘Doreen Manganini’ from transgender icon Simone Troy back in the late eighties, just as Darren began a part time career in Melbourne’s drag scene. “I became very well known in Melbourne over the years and in the late 90s, decided it was time to crack Sydney. I had no idea I’d be the only indigenous drag queen in this town.”

Growing up with an Aboriginal/Pakistani father gave Darren a unique edge over his small town peers. “There were a few hundred people, the town shop and me. We were raised with an incredibly rich Aboriginal community around us, I always gravitated to that part of my heritage and was proud to take that side of it into the realm of drag,” Doreen says.

A quick wit and ability to talk underwater has allowed Doreen to find the humour in delicate issues. While she has been called politically incorrect for making light of the racial stereotypes which surround indigenous people, Doreen believes laughter is the key to understanding and reconciliation.

“I will make the odd Aboriginal joke, but I am conscious in the way that I do it. I feel empowered as I come from that culture and, through humour, can turn something that may be seen negative into something positive. I’ve had the seal of approval from within my culture.”

Both Darren and Doreen have received official approval from on high within the cultural ranks. “A group of Aboriginal elders walked in and watched my show. They came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my version of our cultural representation. They knew it was in fun, but it meant a lot to me.”

Behind the make up and shoulder pads, it’s been a turbulent year for Darren, who in June last year had to deal with the passing of his partner, police constable Nathan Hearps.

“It was a crippling time for me, and one of the things which pulled me through was the support from the gay community. We’re a diverse lot, Christ knows we have our differences, but I was overwhelmed by how close knit the community can be when you really need them.”

Another community from whom Darren receives support are the men and women of Quakers Hill Police station. Constable Hearps talked incessantly about Darren’s alter ego Doreen, leaving a lasting impression at the station. “They’ve been beautiful to me. I was saluted with a police guard of honour at the funeral.”

For Darren, a time of grieving brought with it a need for reflection. Shying away from the attention surrounding Doreen, Darren turned his attention to one of his true passions, painting. “I really appreciate the quality time of I’ve been able to spend in front of the canvas, expressing my heritage in a creative way,” he says, beaming. “Entertaining means so much to me, and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.”

Considering indigenous drag queens don’t come off a production line, Sydney should have Manganini listed as a cultural treasure.

First published on . Updated on .



Nathan James HEARPS 2007
Sunday May 6, 2007
Monday May 14, 2007
Castlebrook Crematorium
2.00 p.m.
A very much loved son, brother, uncle, grandson and special friend to his family.
Aged 28 years.

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