On 10 December 1986, whilst still a serving member of Victoria Police, current teaching staff member Dr Graeme Pender was involved in a car chase in the suburbs of Burwood and Ashwood. Eventually the car was intercepted at a house and he attempted to arrest two male offenders. One of the men violently assaulted Graeme and fired his revolver into his side, lodging in his wallet. The offender then placed the revolver against Graeme’s forehead and threatened to kill him. Instead of pulling the trigger, he assaulted Graeme once again by kicking him in the chest causing him to fall down concrete stairs. He sustained broken bones and teeth, severe lacerations from broken plate glass, massive bruising to much of his body, a prolapse of two discs in his back and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Eventually Graeme retired from Victoria Police in 1993 due to the injuries received and began a career in teaching in the same year.
On 20 September 2018, Graeme’s significant injuries were acknowledged at the Victoria Police Academy by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Wendy Steendam and he was awarded the Victoria Police Star bravery medal. In addition to receiving the Star, Graeme was awarded the National Police Service Medal (NPSM) and the Victoria Police Service Medal (VPSM) awarded in recognition of ethical and diligent service to Victoria Police.