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Sunday Lecture Series – Queensland Police Special Branch 1948 to 1989

Police Museum Sunday Lecture
Includes Morning Tea
November 24, 2013
10:00 – 12:30

Special Branch was established in April 1948 and was often surrounded by controversy, but always by a veil of secrecy.

Special Branch members - Commissioner Frank Bischof sits middle of front row.

Special Branch members – Commissioner Frank Bischof sits middle of front row. Image PM3469 courtesy the Queensland Police Museum.

During the morning of 24 November, 1989, most Police Special Branch files were shredded. Many Queenslanders believed they would never get to know the undisclosed details of those documents, or ever learn of the history of the unit. That is not quite the case.

Barry Krosch is a retired Queensland Police Inspector, and a former detective in the Special Branch.  For the past four years he has been researching the branch as an MPhil researcher at Griffith University’s Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS). The day after this presentation, he will submit his thesis ‘The Queensland Police Special Branch 1948 to 1989: History, function and impact’.

This research was a significant exercise in document discovery at state and national archives, complemented with Barry’s ‘insider’ knowledge, and interviews with former branch members, targets and agents. He will present some of his research findings, which will include the reasons for the shredding, the background to the disbandment and explain why some branch files are now available from national archives.

An arrest by police in Alice Street during the Springbok Rugby Tour demonstration, July 1971. Image PM1342e courtesy the Queensland Police Museum.

An arrest by police in Alice Street during the Springbok Rugby Tour demonstration, July 1971. Image PM1342e courtesy the Queensland Police Museum.

After a morning tea (kindly provided by CEPS), members of a panel will present brief overviews of their knowledge of the branch and attempt to reach a consensus; ‘Is it time to consign Special Branch to history and look to the future?’ The presentation will be chaired by Dr Paul Reynolds, Honorary Research Fellow at Queensland Parliament. Other panellists will include Professor Mark Finnane, Mr Terry O’Gorman, Mr Dan van Blarcom and another two surprise guests.

This two and a half hour presentation will start at 10am on Sunday, November 24 and will be both informative and educational, and is suitable for any audience. Please note, no RSVP is required.

The Museum opens its doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month from 10am to 3pm in addition to the standard Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm opening hours. Monthly Sunday openings feature guest speakers from across the historical and crime-solving spectrums.

PLEASE NOTE: The Police Museum will open Sunday, November 24 from 10am to 3pm, and is located on the ground floor of Police Headquarters, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane.

Please pass this information onto your family, friends and other networks.
We look forward to welcoming you on November 24.

This information has been supplied by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available at the time of writing.

“Sunday Lecture Series – Queensland Police Special Branch 1948 to 1989”  by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

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Sunday Lectures

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