Robert Edwin BROTHERSON
late of Oak Flats
New South Wales Police Force
Rank: Nil. Student Police Officer ( S.P.O. )
Stations: NSW Police Academy Goulburn, Warilla ( Lake Illawarra ) – Field Placement
Service: From September 2001 to 1 February 2002 = 4+ months
Born: 18 April 1972
Event: Thursday 24 January 2002
Died: 1 February 2002
Cause: Motor Vehicle Accident – Rear seat passenger, F6, Dapto
Funeral date: Wednesday 6 February 2002 @ 10am
Funeral location: St Paul’s Catholic Church, Tongarra Rd, Albion Park
Buried at: Lakeside Memorial Park, Kanahooka Lawn Cemetery, Kanahooka Rd, Kanahooka
About 7.20pm on 24 January, 2002 the student was a rear nearside passenger in a police Commodore sedan on the F6 Freeway at Dapto, heading to a traffic accident, when the police vehicle hit a sheet of water, spun and collided with an oncoming truck. The student sustained critical head and internal injuries and was admitted to the Wollongong Hospital where he passed away on 1 February, 2002.
At the time of his death the student police officer was on the field placement phase of his police training at the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command.
I have absolutely no doubt that had we not had this unfortunate accident, Rob would have made a great policeman. Sorry mate !.
The death of Student Police Officer Robert Brotherson, who was a Student at the Goulburn Police Academy, led to the Robert Brotherson Trophy which is now presented to the student with the highest academic achievement in the policing program, at the Academy, during each new course. The trophy is awarded to that highest academic achiever at the Attestation Parade.
Honouring the fallen
By DANIELLE CETINSKI
March 19, 2014, midnight
AN adventurous young man who wanted to help people will be one of eight officers acknowledged on Police Remembrance Day, when a memorial wall is unveiled in their honour at Lake Illawarra Police Station.
Robert Brotherson from Oak Flats was working in a cake shop with his parents in 2001 when he and his wife, Melissa, decided he would follow his dream to be a police officer.
But the dream was cut short on February 1, 2002, when the student officer was critically injured in a collision between a police car and a truck.
His life support was turned off eight days later.
The 29-year-old left behind two young sons, Blake and Ewan, who are now 14 and 13.
Melissa Brotherson said she was pleased Lake Illawarra Police had decided to recognise the eight officers.
“A lot of people don’t realise that our local police take risks to protect the community,” she said.
“That Rob was a student police officer makes it even more special – the fact that the police family still honours someone just at the start of their career.”
Ms Brotherson remembered her late husband as an “old-fashioned gentleman” who did not shy away from a skydive or a bungy jump.
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“He had a sense of compassion and empathy – he was the type of kid to take in a hurt animal and that extended to people,” she said.
“He wasn’t there [in the police force] for the glory, he wanted to help people.”
The command area has lost eight officers since 1951, either while on duty or as a result of injuries sustained on the job.
An outdoor commemorative plaque will be unveiled on Police Remembrance Day, September 29, and the station flag will be lowered to half-mast.
Along with Mr Brotherson, police will remember Constable Peter Carter who was killed in 1988, Detective Constable Steven Tier (1985), Constable Peter Hardacre (1962), Constable Francis Burke (1961), Sergeant Allen Nash (1956), Sergeant William Smith (1951) and Constable Frederick McLaughlan, who was medically discharged in 1930 and died in 1938.
Lake Illawarra Local Area Commander Wayne Starling encouraged families of the fallen to come forward so they could be invited to the ceremony and contribute photographs for the display.
Family members can contact Sergeant Jason Harrison on 4232 5326 or email HARR2JAS@police.nsw.gov.au.
They can also send a personal message via the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command’s Eyewatch page on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/LakeillawarraLAC.
In memory of Illawarra heroes in blue
Police Legacy Stories – Mel
Published on Aug 1, 2016