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Steer's shield appeal

Friday, 23rd December, 2011

SHIELD APPEAL: Artist Howard Steer and Senior Constable Matt Berry with the painted police shield that is being raffled to raise money for a local police officer’s sick son. SHIELD APPEAL: Artist Howard Steer and Senior Constable Matt Berry with the painted police shield that is being raffled to raise money for a local police officer’s sick son.

Artist Howard Steer has contributed his talents to help raise money for a police officer whose son has leukaemia.

Early this month Senior Constable Nathan Byrne’s two-year-old son, Kai, complained of feeling unwell. 

According his colleague, Senior Constable Matt Berry, Nathan and his wife, Katherine, took Kai to their doctor who immediately sent them to hospital. 

Within 24 hours, Kai was flown to the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia. The next day, Kai was having radio therapy treatment. 

All this occurred just three weeks ago and with Nathan and Katherine expecting the birth of their third child.

“As you can imagine, their world has been turned upside down, with Nathan taking indefinite leave whilst his son undergoes treatment,” Sen. Con. Berry said.

“Nathan, Katherine and their other son Kieren have been staying in Melbourne ever since, with Kai spending Christmas in hospital.”

In response to the situation, the police asked Howard Steer if he could provide a unique and collectible piece to raffle with all proceeds to be donated to the Byrne family.

Barrier Local Area Commander, Superintendent Brad Hodder, agreed to donate an authentic police riot shield for Howard to work his magic on. 

“Howard’s painting depicts the 1919 Police lock out and subsequent police response, titled, ‘Don’t cross this line’,” Sen. Con. Berry said.

“This historically significant piece of artwork is unique, not only in its subject matter, but also in its choice of ‘canvas’.

“Only two other shields have been painted by Howard Steer, with each painting being different. 

“The opportunity to own an authentic police riot shield is rarely offered to the public, and adding Howard’s touch of brilliance makes this item highly collectible.”

A thousand tickets will be available from the police station at a cost of $5 each. Due to the nature and size of the prize, tickets will be allocated at random. The raffle will be drawn once all tickets have been sold. 

The shield is now on display in the front office of the police station.

“Broken Hill Police would like to take this opportunity to thank Howard Steer for his kind donation of this wonderful piece of artwork,” said Sen. Con. Berry.

“Without his generosity and support the opportunity to support our colleague during this time of need would not be possible.”

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