Andres Sterns

Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary


Andrew  Dallas STERNS.

Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.


A remarkable career as a police officer.

Andrew (Andris) was born in Latvia, a European country, on 8.4.1940 of a Russian mother and a  Latvian father, a bare few

months prior to the World War 2 occupation by Nazi Germany which began a campaign of eliminating persons of Russian

origin. In 1944 with his parents, he escaped through neutral Sweden  to Naples, Italy and in 1950 arrived by ship in  South

Australia when, aged 6 years, he was then  naturalized as an Australian citizen and remains so.   On 12.12.1960 he joined the

South Australia Police Force and served until 8.10.1965.

On 11.10.1965 he was sworn into R.P.N.G.C. at the commissioned rank of Sub-Inspector serving widely throughout

Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, Lae, Rabaul, Kerema, Goroka,  Mt.Hagen, Bougainville and finally

at R.P.N.G.C. Headquarters,  Kondeobu.

On 16.9.1975  Papua New Guinea became an independent sovereign nation within the British Commonwealth. At a time when most of the regular uniformed permanent and contract overseas officers had been retrenched by the Australian Government, Andrew was offered and accepted a contract of employment with the new national government, steadily moving up the commissioned ranks until 1.1.1980 when he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner of Police. (A.C.P.)

With a political  decision  that overseas officers could not hold positions of A.C.P. to Commissioner (reserved for national R.P.N.G.C.  officers), he reverted to the rank of Chief Superintendent and became Chief Executive Officer  serving  fifteen  R.P.N.G.C. Commissioners between July 1992 and 2015. On 10.10 2015 Andrew completed 50 years of continuous service but remains in the force until it is “time to call it quits” in late 2016 when he intends to hand in his Glock and retire to  a property in Queensland where he will join his wife and son.  He has joined the Queensland Section of the International Police Association.

His career has been marked by many PNG serious  internal situations; R.P.N.G.C. attacked by rioting Pacific Island Regiment soldiers (several times), the “Sandline” crisis (an international political scandal which threatened to topple the PNG national Government over the Bougainville civil war and    which saw the arrest of the then  Police Commissioner later charged with treason and cost some 10,000 lives over a decade). He was in Rabaul in 1982 when a tsunami flooded much of the town to a depth of a metre or more.  He has also been responsible for security during the several   Royal visits to Papua New Guinea.

For his exceptional service he has been awarded the  following medals

 Imperial awards.

Commander British Empire CBE 2014. (OBE 2009, MBE1990),

Queen’s  Police Medal 1995.

Commonwealth of Australia.

Commonwealth Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Police Overseas Service Medal (2014).

Papua New Guinea.

Distinguished Police Service  Medal.

Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Community Service Medal.

 Independence Medal (1975).

10th Anniversary  of Independence  Medal (1985) .

RPNGC Centenary Medal (1988).

30th Anniversary of Independence Medal (1995).

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal ( 2102).

Andrew’s 50 years service in Papua New Guinea, is paralled only by one other, Papuan  Sgt Major (later Sub Inspector) BAGITA  AROMAU  B.E.M. who served from 12.8.1916 until 28.6.1967.

From the first British New Guinea Armed Constabulary of 1890, the Royal Papuan Constabulary (R.P.C.)was created a King’s “Royal” police force on the

Maxwell R. HAYES