Code of Silence

'Wherever there is power and money, there is always the risk of corruption. But everyone has a choice: to become involved or to take a stand against it.'

Colin Dillon is an extraordinary man. He was the first Indigenous policeman in Australia. But that is actually a very small part of his story.

He was also the first serving police officer to voluntarily appear before the Fitzgerald Commission of Inquiry in 1987 and give first-hand evidence of police corruption. He did this at a time when the Fitzgerald Inquiry was beginning and struggling for traction. His evidence at the Inquiry was instrumental in eventually sending some police, including Police Commissioner Terry Lewis, and politicians to prison.

Revealing, powerful and uncompromising, this is the story of Colin Dillon's nearly 40 years in a police force rotten to the core. It describes the extraordinary range of criminal activities - drugs, gaming, SP bookmaking, brothels, vehicle theft - that were allowed to operate with impunity in return for bribes. It also tells of the high price an honest man and his family paid for his decision to break the code of silence.

Author: 
Colin Dillon with Tom Gilling
Ned Kelly Year: 
Judges Report: 

Colin Dillon is an extraordinary man. He rose to the ranks of the first Indigenous police inspector in the Queensland police force—but that is actually a very small part of his story. When the call was put out for honest police to come forward and tell the Fitzgerald Inquiry about corruption, Colin Dillon made a choice. He would lift the lid on corruption in the Licencing Branch that he had witnessed for years. Dillon’s voice is extraordinary; calm and considered, he relates his navigation of the troubled waters in Queensland policing post-Fitzgerald. Behind his dignified narrative is the price an honest man paid for his decision to break the code of silence.

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