November 20, 2013
Kingaroy resident – and former Special Branch detective – Barry Krosch will be presenting his university research into the secretive former Queensland police unit at a special function at the Police Museum in Brisbane on Sunday.
Barry worked in the Special Branch from 1978-1987 until he was seconded to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, and then to the Criminal Justice Commission.
He has recently been completing a Masters in Philosophy at Griffith University.
The Special Branch was established in April 1948 and was often surrounded by controversy.
A veil of secrecy surrounded its operations which ensured it remained protected from media – and government – scrutiny.
It all came to an end in December 1989, but just prior to this most Special Branch files were shredded on November 24, 1989 .
Many Queenslanders were appalled at the destruction of the records and most believed they would never get to know the undisclosed details, or learn about the history of the unit.
Barry has been working to rectify this.
For the past four years, he has been writing about the Special Branch as a researcher at Griffith University’s Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS).
The day after this presentation, he will submit his thesis: “The Queensland Police Special Branch 1948 to 1989: History, Function and Impact”.
Barry’s research combines information dug out of State and National archives, complemented with his “insider” knowledge and interviews with former Branch members, targets and agents.
He will present some of his research findings, which will include the reasons for the shredding, the background to the disbandment of the unit, and explain why some Branch files are now available from national archives.
Also talking at the museum on Sunday will be former Special Branch agent Dan Van Blarcom, civil liberties spokesman Terry O’Gorman, history professor Mark Finnane, political commentator Dr Paul Reynolds and PhD student Kate O’Donnell.
The presentation will start at 10:00am at the museum, which is located on the ground floor of Police Headquarters, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane.