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Awarded for service to the community, police, emergency services and defence
Born: 28 June 1968
Entered on roll: 2019
Donna Adams became the highest ranked woman in Tasmania Police’s 114-year history when she was the first woman appointed to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in 2011.
In 2016, Donna was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management, making her the Agency’s most senior woman.
Donna joined Tasmania Police at age 19 in 1987, and at this time it was rare to work with another policewoman.
Donna embraced opportunities and worked in uniform, criminal investigations and training, and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1998, Inspector in 2004, and became the first female promoted to the rank of Commander in 2009.
Donna’s service to policing has been recognised with awards and commendations including an Award for the Most Consistent Recruit; Commissioner’s Commendation for service after the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre; an Australian Police Medal for Distinguished Service; and a Tasmania Police Service Medal for diligent and ethical service.
Donna was recognised by the Australasian Council of Women in Policing for an internal investigation into three police officers involved in drug use and trafficking.
Donna is a strong advocate for women in government and also within Tasmania Police. In 1997, Donna was a member of the Women in Uniformed Services Workplace Committee established by the State Government to investigate barriers to recruitment, retention and development of women in the uniformed services. From 2007, Donna was a member of the Commissioners’ Australasian Women in Policing Council. Donna is also a member of the Women Supporting Women Steering Committee, supporting women to overcome barriers to career progression.
Donna’s strategic vision was behind her being named as 2014 Telstra Tasmania Business Woman of the Year and jointly winning the national Business Innovation Award. Donna donated the prize money to the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Tasmania Police Charity Trust.
Donna, who had been told by her mother to make the most of opportunities, saw the prize money as a chance to join a fight against a disease that took her mother’s life.