Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Hansard Office

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 30 October 2012 242 lovely smile and a great sense of humour, but also with a great commitment to the NT police force. His fellow recruits looked up to him, and even then he was regarded as a leader. At the same time, I met the love of his life, Norma, who also lived in the hostel and was in the very first intake of female police in the Northern Territory. I remember the women had to be in plain clothes and wear gloves and stockings. Norma was also regarded as an outstanding recruit and very supportive of the others in that intake, and extremely kind to a couple of women who wondered what they were letting themselves in for. Saus and Normas engagement and subsequent marriage delighted all who knew them with Saus being considered as a future commissioner, even at that early stage of his career. Darwin being Darwin I would often run into one or both of them over the years and they never changed. They were the same warm and lovely people with Saus demonstrating all the very best characteristics of a police officer: firm, intelligent, aware of the community he served and a man of absolute integrity and probity. It has been an honour to have known him, and I extend my condolences to the lovely Norma and his family. Because Saus was interested in people and family histories he quickly came to know the stories and interrelationships in the community. That made him an effective police officer because he was known and trusted by the old Darwin people, and because the majority of crime in those days was solved on the basis of information from the community. In 1961 he met Norma Helen Bailey who was, as we have heard, in the first squad of women inducted into the NT Police Force, also from country New South Wales. In another of lifes many coincidences, Saus and Norma had lived 60 miles apart for the whole of their early lives but only became aware of each others existence on meeting in the Northern Territory. As I said, there is some remote connection to their meeting because when Norma first came to town she was staying in the same government hostel in which my mother was staying. That was on the site of what we now know as the Transit Centre in Mitchell Street, and longer-term Darwin residents will remember that the hostel was still standing until the Transit Centre was built. Saus was accommodated with the other single police officers at the Mariner Hostel, which was strategically located right down the other end of town on The Esplanade. There are many old funny Darwin stories emanating from those two distant hostels. Saus courted Norma, obviously successfully, and they married and went on to have their three lovely sons and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Saus and Norma moved to Pine Creek at the beginning of 1964 and had three very enjoyable and interesting years there. Pine Creek Station was responsible for a huge area and police officers were on patrol 18 days out of every month. Saus became wellknown on the various stations, meat works, Aboriginal communities, mines and other settlements within the region. Saus was transferred back to Darwin at the end of 1966 and worked in the Criminal Investigation Branch. His exemplary work practices and attention to detail led to his appointment as the Officer-in-Charge of the newly established Police Training College in 1969. He remained in that position until Cyclone Tracy. The officers he trained over that period remember him as a hard, but scrupulously fair, taskmaster. He also remained interested in and supportive of their careers after they had left the training college and gone onto operational work. Saus played a significant role in the reconstruction process following Cyclone Tracy. He was appointed Assistant Commissioner in July 1975, no doubt partly in recognition of his work during that time. Between 1975 and 1982 he was head of the southern command based in Alice Springs. His integrity and capacity for hard work was also recognised there and he became a valued member of that community as well. In 1982 he transferred back to Darwin to head up the Northern Command and remained there until his retirement in 1992 on his 55th birthday. Of course, the socioeconomic landscape has shifted since then and those of us presently in the workforce can only dream of retiring at the age of 55. What it meant for Saus was that he enjoyed 20 years following his retirement in which he travelled extensively with his wife, devoted himself to his grandchildren, and cultivated his relationships with the old Darwin families that had begun so many years ago? A beautiful memorial service was held at St Marys Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin on 10 October and Saus was recognised and honoured with a police guard of honour. The turnout at that ceremony was a truly fitting tribute to his standing in the community. I recall remarking to the Police Commissioner inside St Marys at the end of the service that old Darwin was turning out that day to