His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson APM,
Governor of Western Australia
The Dawson family have been part of the early colonial settlers over five generations of farming and law enforcement. Chris Dawson’s great-great-grandparents arrived in the then Swan River colony in Western Australia in the early 1800s.
Chris was educated at Perth Modern School before joining the Western Australia Police Force as a cadet in 1976. Chris joined the Western Australia Police Force in February 1976, going on to provide 46 years of service in Australian law enforcement.
He served in country and metropolitan positions criminal investigation, training and senior roles. After 10 years as Deputy Commissioner, Chris left WA Police in 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, formerly the Australian Crime Commission. He also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology during this time.
Chris was appointed as Commissioner of the Western Australia Police Force in August 2017. During the period of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Chris has coordinated the State of Emergency since March 2020 as the State Emergency Coordinator and also the COVID19 Vaccine Commander.
Chris was nominated by the Hon Premier Mark McGowan and has been approved by Her Majesty The Queen, to be sworn in as the 34th Governor of Western Australia on 15 July 2022.
Keynote Speaker 2022
After graduating from UWA, Graham was a secondary school teacher, then moved to the Australian Broadcasting Commission. In the mid-1970’s he began a pioneering work with homeless young people, developing pathways of support to help them rebuild their lives.
In 1981, he took a huge leap of faith into the uncertain world of commercial media. For the next 33 years he was a light in the darkness for countless thousands of Perth radio listeners as host of Radio 6PR’s popular Nightline program.
Nightline used radio to create community – “the Nightline family” as he called it – from which a wide-ranging expression of community service grew. The Living Stone Foundation was born in 1987, co-ordinating multi-agency Christmas and Blanket appeals, supporting lone fathers, giving crisis care and most notably providing an “off air counselling service” answering the many enquiries from people who phoned Nightline each night. Lifeline WA grew from this, with Graham as its inaugural Chairman.
Whilst hosting Nightline, Graham was called to the pastoral team at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church where he has served in various roles for forty years, nine as the senior pastor. He is currently Pastor to the Community.
Graham has served numerous statutory and advisory bodies to governments and continues to serve many organisations in this capacity. His service to the community has been recognised with a number of awards including WA Senior of the Year and the Order of Australia Medal.
Graham has been married to Merle for 51 years and has twin sons who both serve the church in America. The couple have 7 grandchildren.
We look forward to hearing more of Graham’s story at this year’s Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.