Mounting Harleys, choppers and adventure motorbikes, around 150 riders will roar up the M1 today on the Corrective Services NSW Remembrance Day Ride, honouring officers who have passed away while protecting our communities.
Northern Region Custodial Director Hamish Shearer is among those swapping uniform for his helmet and gloves, riding from Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy at Eastwood, in Sydney’s north-west, to the Cessnock Correctional Complex, in the Hunter Valley.
“We’re riding alongside current and former colleagues and their families to recognise those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and remember those we’ve lost in a big, loud display of comradery,” Mr Shearer said.
“It’s pretty hard to miss such a large group of noisy motorbikes and the flashing lights of their police escort – it’s a significant way to put Remembrance Day at the front of people’s minds.”
A commemoration service will be held at Brush Farm from 9am, with the riders also making a special donation to highlight CSNSW community spirit.
“It’s equally to celebrate mateship, boost our mental health and share in community spirit, by each rider donating a toy to Westmead Children’s Hospital,” Mr Shearer added.
Now in its third year and a staple on the Remembrance Day calendar, numbers have almost tripled with riders travelling from across NSW to honour colleagues.
Acting Commissioner Kevin Corcoran PSM said the occasion demonstrates how each loss hits the CSNSW family hard.
“Today we reflect on those who dedicated their lives to keeping communities safe, working tirelessly behind prison walls or in offices,” Mr Corcoran said.
“Seeing so many riders from across NSW unite and file out of Brush Farm past the honour guard is a truly humbling and moving moment.”
The group will depart from Brush Farm on Friday at 10am and ride 143km north to arrive at Shortland Correctional Centre for a 1:30pm service.
Just over 40 riders travelled west to Bathurst in 2019, the inaugural year, and 118 rode south to Nowra last year for the COVID-safe initiative.
CSNSW Remembrance Day is held on the last Friday in November. It commemorates staff who’ve passed away while employed or retired, and honours the 12 killed by inmates in CSNSW’s 176-year history.