Adelaide landmarks lit in blue to honour fallen Greek-Australian police officer

Ioanna Panayiotou (Joanne Shanahan)

Ioanna Panayiotou (Joanne Shanahan)

Some of Adelaide's best known landmarks were lit up in blue on Monday night, as a tribute to Greek Australian SA Police Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan (nee Panayiotou) and Tania McNeill who were killed in a horrific crash involving three cars on Saturday at Urrbrae.

Adelaide Town Hall, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Oval were among the buildings lit up as a mark of respect for the two mothers.

Joanne 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 and is currently the General Counsel for South Australia Police (SAPOL) in a senior legal leadership role. Peter escaped serious injuries and has been released from hospital.

Joanne is survived by Peter and her two adult children.

Mother-of-one Tania McNeill, 53, also died behind the wheel of a silver BMW, while a 20-year-old man is fighting for his life at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Witnesses said his Volkswagen ute was speeding and had run a red light moments before the deadly collision at the intersection of Cross Road and Fullerton Road.

South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens who previously worked with Mr Shanahan, fought back tears speaking about the tragedy during a press conference on Sunday. He said Chief Superintendent Shanahan joined SA Police in 1981 and was "a highly respected member of the organisation".

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. She was also well known in the local Greek community.

Joanne’s 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.

Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Shanahan leaves an overwhelming footprint on SAPOL having received the Australian Police Medal in 2019 for her outstanding service to the organisation and to the community of South Australia.She told The Adelaide Advertiser “Coming from quite a strict Greek background and going into the police force as a female was quite significant for my family. They were totally shocked that their daughter wanted to be a police officer. But when I was accepted they were proud as punch.”

Our South Australia Police family is touched beyond words by the outpouring of love and grief for Detective Chief...

Posted by South Australia Police on Monday, 27 April 2020