19 June, 2023
Goodbye to officers farewelling the district
It’s not “goodbye”, but “see you later” for two wellliked Gilgandra police officers.
Leading senior constable,
Jamie Tebbenhoff, and senior constable, Iain Hayes,
(apologies for last week’s spelling errors in the
Classifieds) are both finishing-up in Gilgandra and
Tooraweenah in the coming weeks, and the community
held a memorable send-off for the two over the weekend.
Senior constable Tebbenhoff came to Gilgandra in
2018, after previously working at Blacktown in western
Sydney for 12 years.
“I came for a lifestyle change, and it was only meant
to be a three-year move but, since moving to Gilgandra,
my wife and I really liked it, and we didn’t want to
move back to the city,” he said.
It’s therefore a rather sad goodbye for senior
constableTebbenhoff, who loves Gilgandra and its people.
As Gilgandra Police Station’s “lock-up keeper”, he
lived in town and was on-call at all times as jobs came
in. Now moving not too-far up the road to Bathurst, he
said that Gilgandra will always hold a special place in
“As a police officer (in the city), you never really got
to see the impact of what your work does, because the
population is so big and so vast,” he explained.
“But here, when you lock someone up - say they’ve
been doing break-ins, you really notice the impact and
how much better the community is for it.”
Senior constable Hayes, meanwhile, feels much the
same way about his community of Tooraweenah. Also
the station’s lock-up keeper, he has resided in the village
for just over three years, after previously working in
Dubbo for two years.
“An opportunity came-up to take on the position in
Tooraweenah village and, at that time, I’d always wanted
to do a country community-style policing role,” he
“But even in Dubbo, it’s a large city, so you don’t
really get that community aspect of it all. So, I took that
position, and I absolutely loved and enjoyed my time
out there,” he added.
Tooraweenah locals also know senior constable
Hayes, from his helping-hand at the Lions Club, show
society, or even on the greens having a hit at the golf
“I’ve loved just interacting with the community
and getting to know everybody,” he said.
“It’ll be sadly missed, that community out there,” he
said. “There’s no greater thrill”, he added, “than making
“But something somebody said to me years ago, is
you could live in a city with 100,000 people, and be the
loneliest person in the world.
“But come int to a great little community like
Gilgandra and Tooraweenah, and be friends with everybody
and anybody. That’s just the style of community
that Gilgandra and Tooraweenah is, which I will definitely
miss,” he added.
Luckily for senior constable Hayes, he also isn’t moving too far and will start his next adventure in Coonabarabran shortly.