Constable Kenny Koala
Highlights from an episode of children's TV show 'Constable Kenny Koala'. Constable Kenny made his first TV appearance in 1975 on a program called program called Junior Police 7.PT0M0S 620 349
He started out in the mid 70s as a bathmat sewn into shape by the secretary of the ACT's top cop.
Almost 40 years on, Constable Kenny Koala is still struggling for promotion in the ranks of ACT Policing, but he is looking sharper than ever before.
On Friday the new look Kenny was shown off at the Royal Canberra Show, where he continued his career calling of teaching young Canberrans how to stay safe and on the right side of the law.
Kenny Koala with Stewart Waters and Deputy Chef Police Officer Charmaine Quade. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Kenny has had numerous updates since his first appearance in the mid 1970s. The latest spot of cosmetic surgery has given the right-hand man of his long-time policing partner Stewart Waters a more expressive look and an updated uniform.
He is certainly much more polished in appearance than the first Kenny, who is on display in the Leisure and Lifestyle Pavillion at the show.
That all white version will be familiar to a generation of Canberra kids, not just through his visits to schools, but also from his regular TV appearances on Capital 7 in Junior Police 7 and Constable Kenny on Duty.
The 'new 'look Constable Kenny Koala looks at the original retired Kenny with Stewart Waters. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
In those days before pre-aggregation, local content made up a significant part of TV programming. Each week Constable Kenny would be sent out from the gum tree by his sergeant to places around the ACT, such as the police force's uniform shop, the accident squad or, one one occasion in 1985, to the World Cup athletics meeting at the what was then the Bruce athletics stadium.
Those film clips offer a glimpse into policing in what was a less politically correct time. His jovial commentary ("ooh, look at that one") of road crash scenes certainly wouldn't go to air today.
While Constable Kenny still reaches much of his audience through visits to schools - he made 1200 school and community visits last year - he now uses a website to teach safety messages.
To see safety tips or buy merchandise visit www.constablekenny.org.au