Chris Dawson joined the Western Australia Police Force as a cadet in February 1976, going on to provide 38 years of continuous service in country and metropolitan positions across a range of portfolios. Appointed to the rank of superintendent in 1999, he became the inaugural principal of the WA Police Academy in Joondalup. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2002 saw him awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service.
After ten years as Deputy Commissioner, Mr Dawson left the WA Police Force in April 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, formerly the Australian Crime Commission. He has also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. This experience was a key factor in his return to the WA Police Force in August 2017, when he was appointed Commissioner.
A drug addict and dealer for the best part of 26 years, many of which were spent in prisons and institutions. Choosing to become a ward of the state at Longmore Childrens Home rather than go home with his father at the age of nine, Peter soon turned to drugs and crime to mask the pain.
At the height of his criminal career, he was dealing guns, using prostitutes, committing burglary and selling up to 2.5kg of methamphetamine a day. Under regular surveillance by the police, Peter lived in a state of paranoia, dragging his family from one Australian city to another in an effort to stay out of jail.
Unlike most stories that begin this way, Peter’s life underwent miraculous change – freeing him from the prison of addiction and fear and leading him to become the founder and CEO of Australia’s toughest and most successful rehab.
Peter is passionate and committed to helping others trapped in addiction, and restoring the lives of men and families through his seminars and as CEO of Shalom House.