A WOMAN with strong Derwent Valley links has been awarded the Australian Police Medal in the Australia Day Honours List for 2023. Senior Constable Kelly Cordwell is the younger daughter of the late local historian Stan Cordwell and she grew up locally with her sister Maryanne.
Senior Constable Cordwell joined Tasmania Police in 1998 and has been a crash investigator for 15 years. Her reputation in this field is widely recognised, not just within Tasmania Police but also the judiciary, where she has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Tasmania as an expert witness for more than 10 years. She has actively sought professional development to enhance her skills and knowledge as a crash investigator.
Her role is exceptionally challenging and it involves being recalled to duty at all hours. She has attended severe and fatal crashes which are often traumatic and graphic. As well as attending the scene and undertaking the relevant technical assessments, Senior Constable Cordwell is also responsible for communicating with the families of crash victims, which draws on her high-level interpersonal skills and empathy.
The citation for Senior Constable Cordwell’s Australian Police Medal notes that her knowledge, skills and experience in assessing crashes are critical in ensuring comprehensive information is provided for coronial matters, or to prosecutors when criminal charges are pursued. She has given evidence in numerous high-profile crash matters, which has ultimately led to convictions. She is well-regarded and respected as an expert witness.
Senior Constable Cordwell is highly regarded throughout Tasmania Police for sharing her knowledge of crash investigation with her colleagues, her technical skills and her dedication and ownership of a sensitive role for the past 15 years.
In congratulating Senior Constable Cordwell and nine other Tasmanians who will received meritorious awards today, Premier Jeremy Rockliff described them as inspiring people and he thanked them for their service.