Greek Australian Senior Police Officer Killed in Car Crash

Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan

Greek Australian Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan was one of the two women killed in a horrific crash at Urrbrae on Saturday.

Shanahan, mother of two, was born in Adelaide. Her father, Nick Panayiotou had migrated to Australia from a village in Rhodes island called Lachania.

She was a passenger in a Holden SUV, driven by her husband Peter at the time of the crash, who is also a retired police detective. He escaped serious injuries and has been released from hospital.

Shanahan, who well known in the local Greek community, joined South Australia Police (SAPOL) in 1981 and was a highly respected member of the force.

In 2002 she was promoted to the rank of Inspector and worked in many areas of SAPOL from CIB, specialist crime areas and Domestic Violence. In 2013 she was integral to the development of the Multi Agency Protection Service (MAPS), leading the cross-government project team from concept stage to implementation in 2014 when she was appointed as the inaugural Officer in Charge of the Family and Domestic Violence Branch.

Her most recent role was a significant one where she played a leadership role in the Police Operation Centre for SAPOL’s response to the COVID-19 virus situation.