COTA (WA) is proud to announce that His Excellency The Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM Governor of Western Australia and Mrs. Dawson are our Joint Patrons

His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson APM was sworn in as the 34th Governor of Western Australia on 15 July 2022.

The Dawson family have been part of the early colonial settlers over five generations of farming and law enforcement. The Governor’s great-great-grandparents arrived in the then Swan River colony in Western Australia in 1830.


Christopher John Dawson APM was educated at Perth Modern School before joining the Western Australia Police Force in 1976, going on to provide 46 years of service in Australian law enforcement.

He served in country and metropolitan positions, criminal investigation, training and senior roles. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2002 saw him awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service.

After 10 years as Deputy Commissioner, he left WA for a national role in Canberra. Between, 2014 to 2017 he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission, amalgamating several agencies into the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. He also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology during this period.

He was appointed Commissioner of the Western Australia Police Force in August 2017, serving until July 2022. During the period of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Commissioner Dawson coordinated the State of Emergency and the Vaccine program.

He is married to Darrilyn Dawson, Education Consultant, with two married children and five grandchildren.

Mrs. Dawson

Coming from a long line of farming families in the South West of WA, Mrs. Darrilyn Dawson is a passionate supporter of the diverse contributions the country sector makes to our state.

With over 40 years experience in the education sector, Mrs. Dawson has taught in government and private schools in both country and metropolitan areas.

Mrs. Dawson has held a variety of roles throughout her career, including classroom teaching and as a Deputy Principal, and Principal in numerous primary schools. A career highlight was securing a job-share Principal role, which was successful over a number of years in several large primary schools. This innovative and successful partnership was acknowledged when Mrs. Dawson and her job share Principal were awarded the statewide Equal Opportunity Award by the Department of Education and Training.

Mrs. Dawson has served on several government school Boards. She is an Education Consultant, providing leadership training and mentoring, and is regularly involved in school selection panels, appointing educational leaders. Mrs. Dawson is a Board and Committee member of two independent colleges and enjoys supporting them as they educate and grow our future leaders. She is passionate about early intervention at every opportunity and providing all children with the foundations to be their very best in whatever they aspire to do or be.

The Governor and Mrs. Dawson have always supported each other in their respective career choices and aspirations. Mrs. Dawson is looking forward to spending more time with her husband as they work together promoting Western Australia, as well as acknowledging the many wonderful people in our community.

When they are not working, Mrs. Dawson and the Governor enjoy spending time with their two married children and their spouses, and five delightful grandchildren.

Mrs. Dawson holds a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Teaching.

WA Government House His Excellency The Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM and Mrs. Dawson.