Redcliffe to host memorial event

Published 10:00am 1 February 2023

Redcliffe to host memorial event
Words by Kylie Knight

Queensland police officers, the community and the families and friends of murdered officers Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold will come together for a special memorial day next month at Redcliffe.

The ticketed fundraiser will be a massive day of rugby league, entertainment and a chance to show support for Queensland police.

It will be held at the Dolphins’ Kayo Stadium from noon on February 25 and is being organised by the Queensland Police Rugby League Association’s Detective Sergeant Paul Renouf and rugby league legend Petero Civoniceva.

The event follows an incident on December 12, 2022, during which four Queensland Police Officers were ambushed at a property in Wieumbilla, southwest Queensland, while attending a routine missing person inquiry. Tragically Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold suffered fatal injuries.

The memorial day will bring the community together to pay respect to the fallen officers and to acknowledge the actions displayed by all officers involved in the police action that occurred that day.

The event will incorporate three rugby league games;

1pm – QPSWRL Dream Team v QPSWRL All Stars

2pm – Arthur Beetson Foundation Immortals (retired NRL stars) versus QPS Legends (former greats of the QPSRLA)

3.30pm – QPS Dream Team v QPS All Stars – both teams will consist of officers from the Southern Region and greater Brisbane area including former NRL players and friends of Rachel and Matthew

After the rugby league games, there will be live performances from musicians who have volunteered their time and talent:

5.30pm – Brad Butcher

6.30pm – Brad Cox and Sammy White

7.30pm – Busby Marou

Sporting memorabilia will be auctioned, raffles conducted and cash donations can be made on the day. All proceeds will go to the Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold Remembrance Fund.

Detective Sergeant Paul Renouf from Logan CIB reached out to Petero Civoniceva in the days after the incident in December and met with the Dolphins before Christmas.

He’s hoping the day will not only raise money for Rachel and Matthew’s families but also encourage the community to come together and show their respects to Rachel and Matthew’s families, while also acknowledging the work done by so many officers.

“To pay our respects to the fallen officers and their families but also the officers who were involved,” Paul explains.

A highlight will be the QPS Dream Team v QPS All Stars game at 3.30pm. It’s a concept he created in 2017 after the death of Brett Forte and the teams have not played since.

“We’re only going to use the concept when we’re paying our respects and on memorial days,” he says.

“The two teams will be made up of officers who were involved in the incident led by the two officers who led the rescue mission on that day. There will also be close friends of Matthew and Rachel playing.”

Strong support

Paul is grateful for the high level of support he has received for the event but is not surprised by it.

“It’s comforting to see the support from outside the QPS. There’s been a lot of support,” he says.

“It did rattle the nation. No one expected this to happen in Australia.”

He is hoping the event will sell out.

Petero says he worked with Paul on a similar event following the death, on the job, of police officer Brett Forte to raise money for his family.

He says the event will be on a bigger scale and he naturally approached the Dolphins to see if the stadium was a venue option.

“(Dolphins Group CEO) Tony Murphy agreed on the spot. He and the club wanted to be a part of this event … showing support for the QPS and the families that have unfortunately lost their loved ones,” Petero says.

“It’s wonderful that we’ll have a number of games for the community to come and support it. It will be a full day of rugby league.”

Petero will be lacing up the boots and preparing some icepacks ahead of the Arthur Beetson Foundation Immortals (retired NRL stars) versus QPS Legends (former greats of the QPSRLA) game at 2pm.

Dolphins Group CEO Tony Murphy says he did not hesitate to get involved when Petero reached out to him.

“It’s such a worthy cause. We all felt it that day when it happened. Those poor officers were somebody’s son and daughter.

“We thought, ‘we’ve just got to do this’.

“I hope the people of Moreton Bay will come out and honour those guys and what all emergency services do for us.”

Tony says Kayo Stadium was not just built for rugby league, but also community events like this.

“It’s an honour to put this event on,” he says.

Tickets are $30. To book your seat, click here

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