Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

    Premier praises departing senior police officer

    6/05/2022 12:30 PM
    • Deputy Commissioner Gary Dreibergs to leave WA Police Force
    • 40-year veteran officer helped steer State through pandemic
    • Delivered contemporary police practice and innovation through his career
    • Drove new phase in WA's vaccination push, as Vaccine Commander

    Premier Mark McGowan has publicly acknowledged the significant contribution made by Deputy Commissioner Gary Dreibergs, who has today announced he is leaving the Western Australian Police Force.


    Deputy Commissioner Dreibergs has played a pivotal role in WA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, having served as a key member of the Emergency Management Team, including the role of Acting State Emergency Coordinator and Vaccine Commander.


    He established Operation Tide to lead the operational roles of the WA Police Force and to ensure that all Government stakeholders and industry groups had a trusted partner when navigating through the pandemic. This involved introducing technological solutions that were central to the State's border and quarantine management.


    In January, Deputy Commissioner Dreibergs was appointed WA's Vaccine Commander, taking over from Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, at what was a crucial time in the State's fight against COVID-19.


    He has consistently led the push to drive up vaccination rates across the State, particularly third doses among adults, as well as the paediatric rollout among children aged five to 11 and a special focus on WA's culturally and linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


    His efforts have seen WA achieve some of the highest vaccination rates in the nation - a feat that has delivered some of the best health, economic and social outcomes in Australia.


    A recipient of the Australian Police Medal, the veteran officer has had a 40-year career which has included metropolitan and regional service. More than 13 years were spent as a senior executive of the WA Police Force, including six years as an Assistant Commissioner and more than seven years as Deputy Commissioner.


    Deputy Commissioner Dreibergs played a key role in delivering a range of sporting and cultural events in WA during the pandemic. This culminated in the historic 2021 AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium that attracted more than 61,000 fans and was watched on millions of television screens throughout Australia and across the world.


    Mr Dreibergs' career at WA Police will come to an end in June.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "Gary Dreibergs has played a pivotal role in guiding Western Australia through the pandemic and on behalf of the State, I want to thank him for his efforts and contribution.


    "His commitment as Vaccine Commander, to drive our vaccination rates up to a level that is the envy of all other States, is an achievement he should be very proud of and an achievement the community should be grateful for.


    "Gary Dreibergs has been a key part of the WA Police Force for many years and has been pivotal in the advancement of police practice using innovation.


    "He also played an integral role in the historic 2021 AFL Grand Final in Perth - an event that will be remembered forever by millions of people across Australia and the world.


    "I thank Gary for his four decades as an officer, where he has served the WA public with distinction, and I wish him all the best for the next chapter of his career."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000