Meet Senior Constable John Kenworthy, a dedicated motorcycle traffic officer with a passion for making Queensland’s roads safer. Throughout his career, John had always been committed to ensuring the safety of others, until one fateful day when his own life took an unexpected turn.

In August 2020, while on duty in Mackay, John received a call for help regarding a serious injury traffic crash at Calen. Four individuals, including two young children, were trapped in a vehicle. John immediately rushed to the scene, determined to assist those in need.

As he navigated his way through the winding roads, John came to the horrible realisation that he wouldn’t be able to make a sharp turn, leading his motorcycle off the road, through a hedge, and into a barbed wire fence. The barbed wire pierced his helmet, resulting in significant injuries to his eyes, face fractures, and lacerations. In that moment, John’s life was forever changed.

John became legally blind in both eyes and has undergone multiple surgeries. In mid-2021, he relocated to Brisbane and joined the Mango Hill North Lakes Police Station. Senior Sergeant Mick Moate, the Officer in Charge, recognised John’s invaluable experience and skillset. The station worked to accommodate John’s needs, providing the necessary equipment and adjustments to ensure his continued success in his role.

John’s return to meaningful police work was both rewarding and impactful. He not only contributed through his daily tasks, such as transcribing telephone intercepts and handling listening devices, but also through his road safety advocacy and community work.

For workers who suffer serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents at work, WorkCover Queensland collaborates with the National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland (NIISQ) to provide necessary treatment, care, and support. John expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support he received, emphasising how it changed his life.

Reflecting on his journey, John shared a powerful message: “The best advice I can give to people is, every second in your life is important, and just make the most of it. You know, it would’ve been easy just to sit back and say, well, why bother? But why not?”

John’s story highlights successful collaboration between WorkCover Queensland and NIISQ and is a testament to John’s resilience, determination, and the impacts a supportive employer can make following serious personal injuries.

Watch John’s story on YouTube.

Last updated: December 2023