Blue Ribbon Day at Scotch

WORDS: Mr Tim Shearer

National Police Remembrance Day, or Blue Ribbon Day as it is better known in Victoria, occurs every September, and this year’s Blue Ribbon Day was Thursday 29 September.

This year Scotch was nominated as the ambassador school for Blue Ribbon Day, and on Wednesday 14 September Mr Neil Soullier OAM, the CEO of the Blue Ribbon Foundation, attended assembly and presented a flag of remembrance to the Principal. The flag was flown at Scotch until Blue Ribbon Day, Thursday 29 September.

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Principal Tom Batty, Mr Neil Soullier OAM and Jack Bateman (Year 7) with the Blue Ribbon flag of remembrance.

At the assembly, Jack Bateman (Year 7) addressed the school, speaking of his close identification with Blue Ribbon Day.

‘My name is Jack Bateman. This morning I want to talk to all of you about something which is pretty close to my heart. The Blue Ribbon Foundation is a community organisation which ensures that the memories of police who have died in the line of duty live on as part of the community.

‘One of the police who have died on duty is my dad, Mark Anthony Bateman, Senior Constable, stationed at the Northcote Police Station, and this year my family have proudly agreed to represent the Blue Ribbon Foundation. The foundation was founded in 1998 and has a roll of honour which lists 157 police members who have died. My dad is part of history and the honour roll dates back to 1858.

‘The foundation is mainly run by volunteers who organise fundraising events throughout Victoria. All money goes to community projects that promote awareness, and for important projects like hospitals which are named in honour of fallen officers.

‘We can do nothing to bring them back, but as a grateful community we can take steps to honour their memory and ensure their sacrifice is acknowledged. I hope that we at Scotch College will be able to contribute to the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s mission – a good start is to wear a blue ribbon on Police Remembrance Day, 29 September.’