Virginia Nelson


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Virginia is the Assistant Commissioner, Ethical Standards Command in the Queensland Police Service. Having joined the Service at 18 Virginia has more than 34 years’ service and has worked in rural, regional and metropolitan areas across Queensland.

Promoted to commissioned rank in 2008, Virginia has undertaken several appointments in Central Queensland before returning to Brisbane in 2017 as the Assistant District Officer, South Brisbane District. Appointed to Chief Superintendent at the Ethical Standards Command in 2019, Virginia was responsible for the Internal Investigation and Integrity and Performance Groups for the Service. In 2023 Virginia undertook a long-term secondment as the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Domestic Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Command leading the implementation of recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry.

In 2015 Virginia undertook a 12-month secondment to the Australian Institute of Police Management in Sydney as the Queensland Police Service Visiting Fellow. This opportunity saw Virginia contribute to the facilitation and development team for the Graduate Certificate Program and other leadership and development programs for senior police and emergency services across Australasia including in the Solomon Islands and Indonesia.

In 2016 Virginia was awarded the Bev Lawson Memorial Award by the Australasian Council of Women and Policing for her leadership and commitment to the development of women in policing and in 2016 Virginia was awarded the prestigious Telstra Queensland and Australian Businesswoman of the Year – Public Sector and Academia.

In 2017 Virginia attended the Netherlands School of Business in the Hague and successfully completed the program ‘21st Century Public Leadership and Diversity’. Virginia has attended the exclusive Harvard Business School’s Authentic Leadership Program, an opportunity she describes as a career highlight. Virginia holds tertiary qualifications in management and leadership and has recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.

During the 2017 Queens’s Birthday Honour’s Virginia was awarded the Australian Police Medal. In 2018 Virginia was awarded the International Women in Policing Award for coaching and mentoring.

In 2023 Virginia was awarded a Churchill Scholarship to study Crises of Trust in Policing 


To study crises of trust in policing organisations, leadership and change

To study crises of trust in policing organisations, leadership and change

United Kingdom
Public Service
Virginia Nelson

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