A life filled with positive role models, coupled with the experience of leading the country’s largest Police Force has given Andrew Scipione AO APM plenty of insight into inspiring others.
Mr Scipione this morning recalled his early life as a Ten Pound Pom and used his subsequent working career, which saw him serve for 10 years as New South Wales Police Commissioner, to implore others to realise their own leadership qualities.
He addressed more than 600 people at the 25th annual Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours in Toowoomba.
“We are all leaders in some way. Good leadership and good mentors are important for young people to learn the right lessons to build strong families and communities,” Mr Scipione said.
“I was fortunate that three men in particular from a local church in Sydney invested in me following the death of my father when I was 14.
“I grew up very quickly and was lucky to model myself on these three men. Their legacy lives in me today.
“Their help came from what they did and how they lived their lives, helping me to become a better husband and, later, a better father.
“Every problem, small or large, comes from a lack of leadership.
“How did a young fellow who arrived in this country as a Ten Pound Pom end up in charge of the oldest and largest Police Force in the country (as the 21st New South Wales Police Commissioner) and what did I learn along the way?
“I found out it wasn’t about me. I am forever grateful for the support of my family and all my colleagues.
“With the best of intentions we look to others for advice and I was fortunate to have the foundation of my family.
“I also have faith in a God who never gets it wrong and who gives me the power, ability, understanding and resilience to do what I do every day.”
Mr Scipione instanced the testimony of foster carer Nadine Wright as the embodiment of caring leadership.
He said the importance of caring for young people showed how making a significant difference in one life could have a positive change for the wider community.
Mr Scipione labelled the scourge of domestic violence as predominantly a ‘man disease’.
“Men are not stepping up to be leaders. They are not being real men,” Mr Scipione said.
Mr Scipione also thanked members of the Queensland Police Service who were in attendance and their colleagues.
“These men and women give it all and put it on the line for their communities.”
Musical entertainment was provided by Heather Gillies and Pastor Evan Shelton’s ensemble.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio thanked all sponsors and supporters at the 25th Mayoral Prayer Breakfast for their ongoing generosity.
He said funds would be presented in coming weeks to new regional cancer support group Hope Horizons and United Synergies, which oversees the Toowoomba Youth Service.
Mayoral Prayer Breakfast organising committee chair Pastor Andrew Hoey, Senior Minister at Rangeville Community Church, said Mr Scipione was a fine example of words matching deeds and integrity.
“So much of his good work was made possible by the actions of others who stepped in to help that 14-year-old boy in Sydney,” Pastor Hoey said.
“We can take inspiration that each person can find the strength to be a leader.”
Caption: Guest speaker Andrew Scipione AO APM (centre) with Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio right and Pastor Andrew Hoey at this morning’s 25th annual Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours.