Publication date: Tuesday, 5 September 2017
A portrait of this state’s first coroner Mr Kevin Waller AM was unveiled at Long Bay Correctional Centre today, 20 years after a therapeutic unit at the centre was named in his honour.
Originally commissioned upon Mr Waller’s retirement as coroner in 1992 the portrait will be on permanent display inside the Kevin Waller unit after it was donated by his widow Audrey and three children Steven, Louise and Pamela.
“It is a great honour for us to have such a magnificent portrait of Mr Waller at our facility,” Acting Governor David Cahill said.
“Mr Waller had a strong interest in the wellbeing of people in the justice system and his family should be proud of his contribution to NSW. I am delighted we are able to honour his legacy in this way.”
Mr Waller was State Coroner from 1988 until 1992 and the following year chaired the Committee to Review Suicide and Other Self-Harm in Prison.
The committee’s final report, known as the Waller Report, recommended the creation of the Long Bay Crisis Support Unit which was formed in 1993 and renamed the Kevin Waller Therapeutic Centre in 1997.
His daughter Pamela Walton said her father would be pleased the unit had expanded over the years to include therapeutic and aged care facilities at the Long Bay Complex.
“Dad was a warm, witty, intelligent, kind man with sparkling blue eyes, who had a strong sense of fairness and justice,” Ms Walton said.
“It is a wonderful way to remember Dad and it gives a personal relevance to the name of the unit. It would definitely make him smile that he was in Long Bay Correctional Centre.
Commissioner Peter Severin said Mr Waller helped CSNSW to improve its duty of care for inmates most at risk.
“The steadfast work of Mr Waller was a primary reason for the improved institutional care of a very vulnerable section of the inmate population in NSW,” Mr Severin said.
“I am delighted we are able to acknowledge his dedication and remember Mr Waller as a man who made a difference to inmate care.”