Queensland Policewoman's Winter Uniform 1965 - 1970

Contributed by: Queensland Police Museum

Front of policewoman's drab olive winter uniform. Three chevrons indicating rank of Sergeant Second Class on right sleeve. Rear of policewoman's drab olive winter uniform. Front view of blouse and skirt. Rear view of blouse and skirt. Hat that forms part of the drab olive uniform Gloves and shoes that form part of the drab olive winter uniform. Bottom of shoe showing manufacturer. PM2728. Constables Twigg, Harper and Mackie inducted into the Queensland Police at the Petrie Terrace Barracks on 24.04.1969. PM2799. Constables West and Broadley inducted into the Queensland Police at the Petrie Terrace Barracks on 26.09.1966. PM2738. The induction of Constables Wilson, Kelleher and Paterson into the Queensland Police on 30.06.1965. PM1812b. These women are wearing the first style of winter uniform issued to female officers in June 1965.
  • Australian dress register ID:

    562
  • Owner:

    Queensland Police Museum
  • Owner registration number:

    QP185
  • Date range:

    1965 - 1970
  • Place of origin:

    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • Gender:

    Female
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Object information

Significance statement

This complete uniform is a significant piece in the Queensland Police Museum collection as there were only five female sergeants between 1965 and 1970. Additionally, the uniform represents an important period in the history of the Queensland Police Force. Female officers were only first sworn into the Force in 1965. This was the first step towards equality in the Queensland Police Force. 

The long-sleeve blouse, tunic, skirt and hat are all in either excellent or good condition. There is little sign of wear on each piece which is especially significant considering they would have been worn as an everyday uniform during the winter months in Queensland. This drab olive coloured uniform was only worn between 1965 and 1970. It was replaced in 1971 by a return to the blue uniform. All items are clearly designed to be practical items of clothing, with no obvious trimmings or decorations. The only decoration that can be found are the three chevrons on the tunic to indicate the rank of the individual wearing the uniform. It is the chevrons that reveal how significant the uniform was, worn by a female Sergeant 2nd Class (Sergeant 2/c).

The story of this uniform is one of progress and determination, and shows how female police offcers were finally accepted by the Queensland Police Force from 1965.

Author: Virginia Gordon and Rebecca Lush, 25.05.2015.

Description

The uniform is divided into a skirt, blouse, tunic and hat. The skirt is drab olive in colour, high-waisted and rests just below the knee. There are two darts on the front of the skirt and four darts at the back. On the back of the skirt in the middle at the base is one pleat. The skirt is not lined. There is a zip and button on the left hand side of the skirt. The skirt is made from a wool/terylene material. 

The blouse is a cream-coloured, long-length sleeved button up. The base of each sleeve is fastened with two transparent buttons. There is a soft collar made from the same cream cotton as the rest of the blouse. Below the collar are two pockets on the chest either side of the middle. On the back of the blouse is a slit in the middle. 

The uniform has a drab olive coloured, hip-length tunic with long sleeves. Down the front of the tunic are three silver Queensland Police Force buttons medium in size. Two medium pockets are on either side of the tunic opening just below the waist. On the right-hand sleeve are three silver chevrons of a Sergeant 2nd Class (Sergeant 2/c). Like the army the Queensland Police has a rank structure. When an officer qualifies through work experience and educational achievement they can then apply for promotion to the next highest rank, with a then subsequent change in rank insignia for their uniform. The collar of the tunic, similar to the blouse, is sofly folded and has two holes either side of the collar opening for attaching rectangular metal badges, being silver in colour with the registered number of the wearer in black enamel letters and numbers, for example "PW 1". On the interior of the tunic at the collar is a fabric loop to enable hanging on a hook. The entire tunic is divided into eight panels for structure.

Finally, the uniform hat is a khaki cap with a silver hat band resting on top an olive green ribbon band. There is no manufacturer's label inside. The hat has a tan brim and a Queensland Police " affectionately called pineapple" badge resting just above the olive green and silver hat bands.

History and Provenance

Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information

The owner of the blouse, Joyce Bernice Campbell was sworn in as a Constable on 4 March 1970, and in 1984 attained the rank of Sergeant 2nd Class (Sergeant 2/c). Although she eventually became Sergeant 2/c  it is outside the period during which this particular uniform would have been worn (1965-1970). The women who may have owned the blazer and skirt were all appointed to the rank of Sergeant 2/c between 1965 and 1970. Elizabeth Boyle retired in 1968 and the remaining four women continued past 1970 in their roles as Sergeant 2/c.

Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?

This uniform was the first winter uniform designed and worn by female police officers. Prior to this time, females were expected to dress in civilian clothing. This uniform represents a new era in which policewomen were granted power of arrest and were able to assimilate into the Queensland Police Force.

Where did this information come from?

All information was sourced from the Queensland Police Museum archives including the Queensland Police Gazette.

  1. Place of origin:

    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  2. Cost:

    A Queensland Police memorandum regarding damage to uniforms by persons found guilty of damaging or destroying Government property on 28.01.1966 finds that it would cost $57.50 to replace the tunic, skirt, blouse, shoes, cap and cap cover, cap badge, gloves, and set of numerals.

  3. Owned by:

    Records from the Queensland Police Gazette indicate there could be five potential owners of this uniform: Elizabeth Boyle, M. P. Ryan, O. L. Doolan, Y. M. Weier or C. T. Conaty. All five women reached the level of Sergeant 2nd Class (Sergeant 2/c) between 1965 and 1970. The chevrons on the right-hand sleeve of the tunic indicate someone of this rank owned the tunic and skirt. The owner of the blouse is Joyce Bernice Campbell. It is now in the possession of the Queensland Police Museum.

  4. Worn by:

    The blouse was worn by Joyce Bernice Campbell, PW41, however, the owner of the blazer and skirt is unknown.

  5. Occasion(s):

    This was an everyday work uniform to be worn in winter.

  6. Designed by:

    The Queenlsand Police Force in 1965 or just prior to this year would have designed the police uniform. Female police officers wore civilian clothing before this period.

  7. Made by:

    Unknown as to who the manufacturer of this uniform may have been.

  8. Made for:

    All items of the uniform were made for a Queensland Policewoman.

Trimmings / Decoration

The only evidence of trimmings or decorations are the chevrons denoting the rank of Sergeant 2nd Class (Sergeant 2/c) sewn on the right-hand sleeve of the tunic. This is not unusual as the items all form a policewoman's uniform and, therefore, decorations and trimmings were not necessary. The hat comes with an olive green ribbon hat band.

Ribbon

There is a olive green ribbon hat band on the khaki cap.

Fibre / Weave

The fabric for the tunic and skirt is drab olive in colour and made of a wool/terylene mix. The blouse, however, is a cream cotton. Furthermore, the blazer is lined with an orange cotton fabric and the sleeves of the blazer are lined with a cream cotton fabric. 

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye

Manufacture

The skirt, tunic, blouse and hat have all been machine-sewn. The skirt and tunic have been sewn together with a slightly lighter coloured thread than the drab olive fabric colour. The blouse has been machine sewn with cream cotton. In all three cases, the buttons appear to have been hand sewn. 

Label

There is a label on the blouse, however, it is not a manufacturers label. It states: 

J. B. Campbell   

Police Woman

41

1970

  1. Hand sewn
  2. Machine sewn
  3. Knitted
  4. Other

Cut

All items have been cut straight.

  1. Bias
  2. Straight

Fastenings

On the left hand side of the skirt is a medium-sized light brown button and one drab olive coloured zip (109 mm long). These two items combine to fasten the skirt. On the tunic there are three silver Queensland Police Force (Queen's Crown) buttons that are for fastening purposes. The blouse has five concealed transparent buttons fastening the blouse together and two buttons on both sleeves to fasten the sleeve opening.

  1. Hook and eye
  2. Lacing
  3. Buttons
  4. Zip
  5. Drawstring

Stiffening / Lining / Padding

The only piece with evidence of lining or padding is the tunic which has been lined with orange fabric and there is evidence that there are inserted shoulder pads. The hat has been stiffened using a combination of heavy duty fabric and in-hat stiffening. 

Measurements

blazer shirt skirt
Girth
Neck 430 mm 361 mm
Chest 1010 mm 998 mm
Waist 900 mm 940 mm 327 mm
Hip 1000 mm 990 mm 405 mm
Cuff 262 mm 188 mm
Hem circumference 840 mm 990 mm 528 mm
Vertical
Front neck to hem 406 mm 435 mm
Front waist to hem 260 mm 230 mm 605 mm
Back neck to hem 610 mm 561 mm
Back waist to hem 260 mm 250 mm 605 mm
Sleeve length 595 mm 520 mm
Horizontal
Neck to sleeve head 125 mm 132 mm
Cross back 342 mm 344 mm
Underarm to underarm 463 mm 471 mm
Convert to inches

The hem of the skirt is 90 mm and the back pleat measures 85 mm. 

Dress Themes

All three items form part of the Queensland Police woman's winter uniform that was in circulation between 1965-1970. After this period of time, the green uniforms were replaced by blue.

Condition

The skirt is in excellent condition with only minimal signs of wear. There is some loose stitching on the hem. The tunic and blouse are in good condition. The tunic has two holes in the middle of the lining at the back of the tunic and a tear near the collar. There are two unidentifiable stains also on the lining of the tunic. This inidicates a level of wear. The blouse, similarly, is stained on the collar and there are darker stains around the two front pockets and concealed buttons.

Evidence of repairs

There is no evidence of repairs.

Insect damage

There is no insect damage.

Mould damage

There is no mould damage.

State

  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Poor

Damage

  1. Crease
  2. Frayed
  3. Holes
  4. Stained
  5. Torn
  6. Worn

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