The Journal for Women and Policing

Page 1

Issue No. 55 2023

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Contents 3 President’s Report 5 Note from the Editor 7 Women Buyers Hit the Market 8 Australian Kings Birthday Honours Recipients 12 A Worldwide Trailblazer 15 International Association of Women Police 18 Spotlight on Australian Border Force Women in Maritime 19 The official launch of the Victoria Police Women of Colour Network 22 Leading the Way into the Future for Training 24 The Future Is Here 26 IRIS: Making it Easier to Solve Crime Faster 28 The Power of a Single Conversation 30 Starlink: Improving Radio and Mobile Data Access in WA 32 Location Switch helps turn around Gender Imbalance among CIB trainees 34 From Little Things, Big Things Grow…. 35 Kiwi Cops on Diversity Quest 36 NSW Sexual Violence Strategy Projects 38 Women in Innovation and Technology
A THINK TANK : An Innovative Approach to Tackling Knife Crime in Victoria
Women in Leadership at the New South Wales State Emergency Service 46 Vanuatu Police Force Detective Training Program 48 Fingerprint Operations in Cambodia
Police Matron Turns 99
Grand Prix of the Seas
Delegates at the 2018 IAWP conference held in Calgary, Canada. The cover delegates at ACWAP and IAWP conferences held previously, as well as the 2023 conference team

President’s Report

First of all I would like to welcome those who will travel from all over the world to attend the IWPC conference in Auckland. It is a privilege for ACWAP to host this conference with IAWP and New Zealand Police, and I am sure delegates will benefit from the knowledge and networking opportunities that the conference provides. I also hope that you enjoy reading our ACWAP journal which includes articles from our region covering Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

As the world continues to evolve law enforcement also needs to do so to evolve and cater for the communities we serve. This edition of the journal contains articles covering a great range of innovations, which demonstrate the amazing skills and abilities which members across Australasia possess. Technology is progressing at a very fast rate. This creates both opportunities and challenges. For law enforcement it may help to assist staff to carry out their roles in an efficient rate as possible but also a challenge with criminals using technology for a wide range of offences.

I would like to offer my personal congratulations to all those who received recognition in the Kings Birthday Honours recently. Well done to all of you and a special mention to Joy Murphy who has been working in policing for 51 years which is an incredible achievement.

In this current day and age there is so much mobility available within a person’s career and sometimes it is just a matter of taking yourself out of your comfort zone to do something different. During my career I have been blessed to have worked in roles within Queensland

Police and Australian Federal Police, and have recently commenced working for the New South Wales State Emergency Service. As you will see read in this edition, I have been very impressed with the number of women in leadership roles within my current organisation.

It is perhaps timely to remind all members working in law enforcement or other emergency services have the capability to demonstrate leadership and it is important that you do. Making a difference to people’s lives is a very important part of our roles and can be very rewarding so when you are having a “bad” day, just think about all the positive differences you can make.

Finally, I would like to encourage all those from the Australasian region to consider joining ACWAP – there is a one-off life membership fee of $AUS25, which is obviously very good value. A member only area is being developed on the ACWAP website, which will include resources and the ability to connect with other members throughout the region. And if you are very keen you can consider standing for the ACWAP committee. Our AGM will be held in October this year. There are lots of opportunities out there – make the most of the them.

Take care all

“The world is starving for new ideas and great leaders who will champion those ideas.”
Lisa Su - Known as the first woman to lead global tech company Advanced Micro Devices and one of the few women to run a Fortune 500 company.
Queensland Police in the 2017 Cairns Conference Parade of Nations

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Note from the Editor

In 2019 the idea to hold a combined IAWP and ACWAP conference in New Zealand for the first time was floated and four years later it is about to come to fruition as the result of hard work by a very dedicated group led by conference director, Wendy Spiller. As registrations flow in from around the world New Zealand Police look forward to providing the delegates with an amazing and enriching experience.

This edition of the journal showcases some excellent work being done around “Down Under” and the conference provides the opportunity for Police staff from all parts of the globe to share knowledge and experience. As our world keeps evolving Police need to do the same and both IAWP and ACWAP conferences provide the opportunity to connect and learn from each other.

I encourage all conference delegates to take themselves out of their comfort zone and engage with delegates from other countries – this will be a once in a life time experience for many, so make the most of it.

I attended my first IAWP conference in Boston, USA in 2004 and since then have combined overseas travel with IAWP conferences around the world, and have gained much inspiration and knowledge. I became aware of ACWAP when attending the IAWP conference held in Darwin in 2008 and since then have also taken the opportunity to connect with my “Aussie” counterparts through the biannual ACWAP conferences and joining the ACWAP committee. The Auckland conference is the third time that IAWP and ACWAP have held a combined conference – previous conferences having been held in Canberra in 2002 and Cairns in 2017.

Remembering those who have come before us is important as they have paved the way forward and this edition features two of these women. While women in Police have come a long way there is still much to be done to ensure that progress continues to be made. Women Police organisations play an important role but equally important are having male champions within Police organisations. Both IAWP and ACWAP recognise this at their annual awards, which are both being held at the IWPC conference.

A big thanks to all those who have contributed to this edition and I hope you enjoy the read. Be sure to contact me if you have any articles or ideas for future editions at au. The next deadline for submissions is 30 September 2023. I look forward to all future contributions.

Finally, an inspirational quote from Oprah – “Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.”

Take care and stay healthy.

Warm Regards

2002 Conference – Canberra
2017 Conference - Cairns

Women Buyers Hit the Market

Triple Zero Property

It is so good to see that more women in Australia are stepping onto the property ladder than ever before. According to CoreLogic’s annual Women & Property Report, women buying property on their own increased last year, while the highest percentage of ownership is with a partner.

Why is home ownership important?

Buying the right property for your circumstances is one of the best things you can do for long term financial well-being. Right now, with all the doom and gloom, it feels like it’s too hard to succeed in the property market. However, we believe there are opportunities in the market if you know where to look and have the right team to get you there.

Getting ahead in property is about ensuring the fundamentals are right so that you can benefit from a growing asset. We would love to help you take the first step onto the property ladder if you are ready to buy your first home. Or perhaps you are looking to buy property as part of your strategy to build wealth as you approach retirement. It is never too early or late to start the conversation!

Explore all your options

For many police and emergency service workers renting can offer greater mobility than owning your own home. With rents rising across capital cities and regional areas, leasing a property does not always offer lower housing costs than buying.

Whatever stage your career is, there are ways to get ahead in the market. From my experience, the ‘Goldilocks’ scenario of everything being ‘just right’ never materialises when buying property!

What has been holding women back?

Historically the gender pay gap has contributed to women falling behind men in asset accumulation.

According to a survey by Fidelity, while more than half of Australian men agreed with the sentiment ‘Investing is for people like me’, only 34% of Australian women did. The survey also found that the finance industry is missing the mark when communicating with women. One in two women said communication around investment was ‘complicated’, and one in four described it as ‘intimidating’.

For our team, getting to know you and your goals and dreams is the first step. Then we assist you through the whole journey, answering your questions and making sure all milestones are met.

Are women better at property investing than men?

This is like asking who are better drivers! However, there is evidence that men and women approach investing differently. Several studies have confirmed that female investors are likely to do more analysis and record-keeping and take a long-term approach. Also, women are more likely to take risks to protect themselves against financial loss than men.

How to succeed in the property market

Your career, family and circumstances are unique. so there is no ‘one

size fits all’ to owning a home or building a property portfolio.

If you want to buy property with a partner, it is vital that you communicate openly about savings, budgets and your financial goals. We understand talking about the M word (money that is) isn’t always easy.

As buyer’s agents, we can talk to you about ‘all things property’, but you need an expert team to help you with your finances. We believe it is essential to keep things separate because when everything is ‘in-house’, it is hard to get a clear direction.

Always ask upfront about how your advisor gets paid.

At Triple Zero Property, we don’t charge anything for using our services or make you sign up for an online course or ask you to buy our book on property! We get paid only if you proceed with purchasing through us (similar to how a mortgage broker gets paid).

Are you ready?

We are passionate about seeing more women enter the property market. The best outcome for you is to explore your options because there will never be a perfect time to invest in property. You will only wish down the track that you had.

Take the next step and book a free property goal-setting session with one of our team members through this QR code or email us at invest@

This content is general information only. Your situation is specific and individual; as such, you should always consult a registered and qualified professional within the particular area of advice needed.


Australian Kings Birthday Honours Recipients

Congratulations to all those recognised in the Kings Birthday Honours.

(AFP) Melbourne Office, and upon graduating started her AFP career as an Investigative Assistant.

Assistant Commissioner Barrett worked in the areas of financial management, administration, client liaison, and Protection Intelligence (including the AFP’s Bali response), before deploying to the Solomon Islands in 2003 as part of the AFP’s first contingent of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.

Detective Senior Sergeant Joy Murphy APM – Victoria

Now in her 51st year of policing, Detective Senior Sergeant Joy Murphy has dedicated more than 30 years of her career to working in sex crimes. She served as head of the Sexual Offences Squad, becoming one of the first woman in Victoria Police to be appointed as officer in charge of a crime squad. She was responsible for unaccounted persons at Kinglake and St Andrews during the 2009 Victorian bushfires and now manages a sex offender registry administration and community engagement team. Read more about Joy’s career on Page 12 and 13.


Assistant Commissioner Barrett began AFP recruit training in 2005 before commencing duties in ACT Policing. Her career in ACT Policing would see her undertake roles in a variety of areas including General Duties, Watchhouse, Ministerial & Policy, Media and Public Relations, Communication and, Drug & Alcohol Policy. Upon her return from maternity leave, Assistant Commissioner Barrett became ACT Policing’s first Patrol Sergeant to work part time, and in 2015 she was awarded the Mark Scott Memorial Legacy Scholarship and completed a research study into gender roles in frontline policing’.

In 2015 Assistant Commissioner Barrett moved to Fraud and Anti-Corruption as the Acting Superintendent of the Serious Financial Crime Task Force, and was later promoted to Superintendent in 2017. From 2017 she was the National Superintendent Money Laundering and also undertook the duties of Commander Organised Crime and Manager Fraud and Anti- Corruption. Promoted to Commander in 2019, she returned to ACT Policing as the Deputy Chief Police Officer Capability and Community Safety.

Commander Cameron commenced with the Australian Federal Police in March 1997 and was assigned to ACT Policing at the conclusion of her recruit training.

Over the next 20 years, Commander Cameron held a number of different roles across diverse portfolios in ACT Policing including General Duties Response,

Criminal Investigations, Intelligence, Family Violence and Community Safety. Commander Cameron’s contribution and service in these areas was acknowledged in 2016 when she was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for her sustained distinguished service to the ACT community particularly in the field of family violence. In 2017 Commander Cameron was also awarded the ACT Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Chief Police Officer’s Award, recognising outstanding service by an individual who has contributed to NHW and the concept of community policing in the ACT.

Assistant Commissioner Krissy Lee Barrett

In 2001 Assistant Commissioner Barrett, while undertaking a degree in Criminal Justice, completed a 12-week internship in the Australian Federal Police’s

In 2020 Assistant Commissioner Barrett transferred to AFP Southern Command in Melbourne as Commander Operations and was later promoted to Assistant Commissioner Southern Command in 2021. In February 2022 she was named the AFP’s First Nations Champion, and continues to promote a healthy and inclusive workplace culture, create awareness and advocate for diversity groups within the AFP.

Commander Cameron moved to AFP Crime Operations in 2017 where she worked in Victim Based Crime and National Response Operations. In 2020, Commander Cameron attended Australian Defence Collage where she undertook the Defence Strategic Studies Course, providing senior leaders and mangers with the knowledge and skills required to operate successfully in a complex and contemporary security environment.

In January 2021 Commander Cameron transferred to Policing Development and Innovation where she led initiatives

Commander Joanne Lee Cameron

focussed on ensuring the AFP remains future-focussed and maintains pace with innovative solutions driving frontline efficiency. In August 2021, Commander Cameron re-joined ACT Policing, leading the COVID-19 Taskforce during the 2021 ACT lockdown period.

The introduction of stay-at-home orders changed the dynamic of the response to COVID-19 in the Territory, requiring the expansion of ACT Policing support to ACT Health and enforcement of the local Health Directions. Commander Cameron provided significant enhancement to the governance surrounding ACT Policing’s involvement in both the operational response to the pandemic and leading key internal initiatives to protect the workforce.

The ACT Policing COVID-19 Business Continuity and Response Escalation Plan’, the primary governance document prepared by Commander Cameron, remains relevant and active today.


Detective Inspector Virginia Margaret Gorman

Detective Inspector Virginia Gorman commenced with the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) in 1995 at Eastwood. In 1998 she commenced criminal investigations duties at Newtown and 2004 she transferred to State Crime Command, Homicide Squad. She was designated as a detective in March 2000 and has now remained an operational detective for 23 years.

In 2009 she was promoted to Detective Sergeant, then in 2011 moved to Robbery & Serious Crime Squad. In June 2016, she was promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector, as Investigations Coordinator at the Professional Standards Command (PSC) and returned to State Crime Command in 2019 as Investigations Coordinator at the Homicide Squad. She currently

remains in this role with a lengthy experience in major crime investigations.

Whilst at the Homicide Squad she has demonstrated leadership in coronial matters, especially relating to critical incidents. Whilst at PSC, she participated on the Critical Incident Guidelines Steering Committee, contributing to the re-writing of the Critical Incident Guidelines in order to adequately address the new Law Enforcement Conduct Commission Act 2016, and to meet the contemporary needs of investigators.

She currently delivers lectures on several courses including the Senior Critical Incident Investigators Course, the Negotiators Course and on training days for crime managers and for weapons instructors. When at PSC, she also delivered lectures on the Detectives Education Program and undertook duties as an assessor on various subjects of the Detectives Education Program.

She has been recognised over her long career in relation to several successful criminal investigations resulting in conviction of offenders involved in murder and serious violence related offences. Detective Inspector Gorman has demonstrated great leadership in the NSWPF, she is a role model for women in the NSWPF and has had a long and distinguished career in criminal investigation.

In 2018 she was promoted to Superintendent, Operations Manager, Central Metropolitan Region and in collaboration with the General Manager of the St George Mental Health District developed the Police Ambulance Clinical Early Response (PACER) program which resulted in substantial and positive changes to the way NSWPF, and NSW Health engage with mental health consumers. A pilot program saw a reduced demand on all agency resources relating to emergency mental health crises and won the 2019 NSW Health Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Award’.

Between January - May 2020 Assistant Commissioner Maloney was the Operations Manager, NSW Bushfire Joint Recovery Task Force. In February 2021 she commenced as Commander Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad. In July 2021 Assistant Commissioner Maloney was promoted to Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Security Command.

As the Commander she is responsible for managing the future direction of NSWPF radio communications, radio dispatch services, rescue and incident coordination functions and emergency call taking and digital services. During her career she also performed duties as an Undercover Operative, Close Personal Protection Operative and Police Negotiator. She has been a strong advocate for female leadership within the NSWPF, promoting and supporting female leadership programs providing mentoring and guidance to numerous female NSWPF staff. She is currently the NSWPF Gender Equality Ambassador and a member of the NSWPF Inclusion and Diversity Council.

VIC Detective Superintendent

Jacqueline Mary Curran

Assistant Commissioner Stace Ann Maloney

Assistant Commissioner Stacey Maloney commenced with the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) in 1998 at Eastern Beaches. In 2003 she commenced criminal investigations duties at the Joint Investigations Response Team (JIRT) Liverpool. In 2006 she was designated as a Detective and in 2007 she commenced investigations at JIRT Kogarah. In 2007 she was promoted to Detective Sergeant. In 2012 she was promoted to Inspector at Eastern Beaches and in 2015 to Crime Manager.

Detective Superintendent Jacqueline Curran has been a member of Victoria Police for 37 years. She has dedicated herself to improving organisational policy, procedures and practices that provide significant community safety outcomes.

Her contribution to the review of the mass casualty incident in Bourke Street, Melbourne in 2017 along with her recommendations changed Victoria Police’s response to tactical training, urgent duty driving pursuits, offender management and command and control.

In 2019, as a Detective Inspector, she was rotated into Crime Command as the first female Inspector in charge of the Purana Taskforce. This had previously been


a male dominated position and Detective Superintendent Curran immediately made an impact picking up the aged and highly complex, sensitive investigations involving The Gangland Murders. The work was high pressure and exacting, with investigations which had been ongoing for a decade.

Her intellect and hard work allowed her to prioritise investigations and staffing quickly to appropriately resource the work, in-turn reducing pressure on the whole team.

Detective Superintendent Curran’s professionalism, dedication and ability to engage with state, national and international stakeholders has ensured Victoria Police are well informed and connected, contributing to reducing the impact of serious and organised crime in Victoria. Her research and development of the Victoria Police Serious & Organised Crime Strategy 2022-2025 as well as the many action items that underpin this strategy are testament to her commitment in this specialist area and making Victoria safe. Her innovative approach, flexibility and contemporary awareness allows her to shift focus to contribute to community safety outcomes.

Throughout her career, her integrity and ethical leadership has been instrumental in challenging inappropriate behavior, holding staff to account and lifting standards in Victoria Police. She has been a role model, mentor and highly respected leader who has dedicated her career to improving conditions, services and community safety outcomes.


Sergeant Toni Veronica Phelan

Sergeant Toni Phelan commenced with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in 1990 and was sworn in as a police officer in 1991. Sergeant Phelan has served in various locations including Cairns, Mossman, Dalby, and Ipswich and it was during her time at Mossman, in particular working with domestic and family violence victims in the First

Nations community that has influenced and steered her career path. This led to her promotion to her current position as Sergeant, Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator (DFVC) for the Ipswich District, where she has served for the past 18 years. She was the first DFVC appointed by the QPS.

Sergeant Phelan was inducted into the Queensland Government Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Prevention Honour Roll in 2021 for her commitment to eliminating DFV in the community and improving policing responses. Her nomination came from a DFV victim survivor, further reiterating her positive impact on the community.

Whilst constantly developing different approaches to improve policing responses, Sergeant Phelan has remained focused on strengthening her communities, and fellow police officers knowledge through engagement, education, awareness, and prevention. This is subsequently changing attitudes and behaviours in policing responses to DFV by being a compassionate, inspiring officer, enthusiastic about behavioural change.

Sergeant Phelan has demonstrated throughout her career, exemplary leadership to frontline police, as well as external support agencies, producing outstanding service delivery in the DFV sphere to the Queensland community ensuring enhanced policing responses.

From 2017-2022 she served in frontline leadership roles as a commissioned officer as the Crime and Support Group Inspector, Mt Isa District and as the Bundaberg Patrol Group Inspector and is currently the District Officer, Wide Bay Burnett District.

Superintendent Vogler displays a high level of expertise and professional judgement and has been the lead investigator for multiple high profile and complex investigations, including murder investigations where she successfully led and managed contemporary investigative strategies which resulted in the swift arrest of offenders. She demonstrates exemplary leadership both in the operational sphere and management of the workforce. She displays a genuine and authentic interest in the professional and personal development of others, and always ensured the welfare of officers within her investigative teams remained a primary focus.

She has been instrumental in the professional development and career progression of many officers who have directly benefitted from her mentorship, support, and personal commitment in the identification and development of skills.

Superintendent Vogler has directly built the capability of the QPS workforce and in turn, strengthened the services delivered to the Queensland community in locations where she served.

Superintendent Anne Vogler commenced with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) on 30 May 1994 and was sworn in on 9 December 1994. She has served as a General Duties police officer in the Brisbane City and Clayfield Divisions from 1994-1999. In 1999 she moved to an investigator role in the State Crime Operations Branch and further served at Pine Rivers District Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) and North Brisbane District CIB until 2017.

Detective Inspector Talie Palmer joined the WA Police Force as a cadet in 1981 and became a recruit the following year. She served in general duties and traffic branches before becoming a detective in 1989, building her career in metropolitan detective offices and specialist units and undertaking training roles. She progressed through the ranks to become an inspector in 2014, most recently transferring from Sex Crime Division to Special Crime Division as Divisional Detective Inspector.

Superintendent Anne Margaret Vogler
Detective Inspector Talie Jane Palmer

Her passion for learning and developing others is evident throughout her distinguished career. Notably, she was an Instructor at the Detective Training School and instrumental in establishing the Academic Pathways Unit. She created the Cyber Predator Team to assist the national strategy to specifically target online child abuse, working with the Attorney-General to help develop new legislation to target online child sex offenders. In developing sound investigation techniques and processes to investigate suspects, a 100 percent conviction rate was achieved, exceeding government expectations and fostering public support and confidence in the ability of the WA Police Force to investigate and manage this crime type.

Many of the policies and procedures she created continue to assist officers in conducting international, national and state-based investigations of online child abuse. As the Assistant Divisional Officer for the Sex Offender Managements Squad, she was responsible for the management of reportable sex offenders throughout the State. The mental health and wellbeing of her team is her utmost priority, and she continues to drive health and welfare initiatives at the Special Crime Divisional Office.

Detective Inspector Palmer’s professionalism, integrity and compassion for others is a fine example, inspiring others to follow her lead. She is highly regarded for her commitment to improving business practices.

Throughout her career she has pushed through perceived gender boundaries, driven to excel in a variety of specialist fields. As the first female Tactical Commander of the Tactical Response Group (TRG) she set an example for other women to follow, with knowledge and an open leadership style that quickly resonated with her team.

This had been developed during her time as Officer in Charge of Regional Operations Group (ROG), instrumental in coordinating and controlling numerous major public order incidents throughout Western Australia. Through her real-time analysis and prompt decision making on evolving situations, she provided clear and consistent direction to frontline and senior officers, helping resolve emerging situations quickly and safely.

Acting Superintendent Robinson consistently seeks to improve her leadership knowledge and understanding of difficult and sensitive issues in order to develop and apply solutions to complex policing problems to benefit the community. Her management of a delicate situation following the death of an armed female after a police shooting was a fine example in negotiation and consultation. By building consistent and empathetic engagements, she developed trust with the family and community members which helped to defuse any further potential conflicts, while reinforcing the need for her team to remain calm and balanced.

Acting Superintendent Robinson leads by example, ensuring her team observes the core values and fundamentals of high visibility policing, maintaining respectful interaction and engagement.

(SAPOL) in 1999, initially performing general duties at Transit Services Branch, Sturt and Mount Gambier, then working in bicycle patrols and the Family Violence Section before joining Mounted Operations Unit in 2004.

Promoted to Sergeant in 2012 and Senior Sergeant in 2016, she has served with distinction in a number of senior roles across SAPOL, including in Planning and Audit within Operations Support Service and Crime Service; Western District and the Commissioner’s Support Branch. She has been formally acknowledged for her roles in planning Operation Winter at Roxby Downs and developing the Mounted Operations Unit Training Manual. However, she is best recognised for her outstanding leadership and managerial qualities as the Officer in Charge of Mounted Operations Unit, which has seen an increase in the operational viability and level of service delivery across the core functions of the Unit.

Senior Sergeant Taylor successfully combines her equestrian expertise and operational policing knowledge to ensure Mounted Operations Unit consistently provides the highest level of support service to the front-line. Her leadership has enhanced the Unit’s operational focus, directly contributing to community safety while balancing the training needs of the Unit and its police horses.

Acting Superintendent

Dale Leanne Robinson

Acting Superinten dent Dale Robinson joined the WA Police Force as a recruit in 2000, her early career interspersed frontline metropolitan roles with a stint in Esperance, before excelling in forensic, training and tactical roles, rising to the rank of Inspector with State Operations. She is currently acting as Superintendent of the Custodial Services & Mental Health Division.

Senior Sergeant Kelly-Anne Taylor joined South Australia Police

She is committed to the welfare of horses and has managed significant projects regarding the acquisition of horses and equipment, contracts for the procurement of feed and services as well as the relocation of agistment facilities. Having worked within Mounted Operations Unit at every rank from Senior Constable to Senior Sergeant, she has an in-depth understanding of the operational, strategic and equestrian issues associated with mounted police operations.

Senior Sergeant Taylor is recognised both locally and nationally for her innovation and development of best practice processes and systems that substantially contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Mounted Operations Unit.

Senior Sergeant Kelly-Anne Taylor

A Worldwide Trailblazer

With 51 years of policing under her belt, Det Sen Sgt Murphy APM OAM is recognised by the International Association of Women in Policing as the titleholder of the longestserving female police officer in the world.

In her five decades of service, the detective has not only seen a wealth of changes within the policing environment, but she’s also been at the forefront of some of them.

A staunch advocate for the advancement of women in policing and the broader community, she was one of the first female in Victoria Police to be appointed as officer-in-charge of a crime squad when given the top position in the Sexual Offences Squad in 1987.

“Back when I joined, women didn’t lead many teams and certainly not a crime team, so it was a big thing for me to get that role,” Det Sen Sgt Murphy said.

It’s great to now be in a place where a female officer-in-charge is nothing out of the ordinary and we’ve got women in leadership positions right up the ranks.

While ground-breaking for women in the organisation, the appointment to the top of the Sexual Offences Squad wasn’t a surprising career move for the detective who has dedicated her career to helping victims of sexual assault and family violence.

“I was exposed to this field of policing very early on in my career because, at the time, policewomen were responsible for child protection investigations, the welfare of women and children and taking reports of sexual assaults,” Det Sen Sgt Murphy said.

“I quickly became very passionate about these areas and knew I wanted to be a part of helping these women and children and making the reporting and investigation process better for them.”

With her decades of experience in these areas, Det Sen Sgt Murphy has

made a name for herself as an expert in the family violence and sexual assault investigation fields, having represented Victoria Police on several panels and committees dedicated to improving policing in these areas.

“The thing I enjoy about sexual assault and family violence investigation is that if you do it well, you can have a huge impact on the lives of the victims and you can make a terrible situation a little easier and a little less stressful,” she said.

Today, Det Sen Sgt Murphy manages the North West Metro Division 5 (ND5) Sex Offender Registry administration and community engagement team.

In this role, Det Sen Sgt Murphy oversees the proactive monitoring and management of offenders in the area on the Sex Offender Registry.

“Our role is to check in with these offenders to ensure they are sticking to the requirements that have been placed on them as part of their release,” she said.

There's a good reason Detective Senior Sergeant Joy Murphy knows the world is a different place to what it was 51 years ago when she first joined Victoria Police - she helped changed it.
Det Sen Sgt Murphy pictured with her mother at her graduation from the Victoria Police Academy

“By doing this, we are helping to reduce the likelihood of them reoffending, which can help reduce the number of sexual offences needing to be investigated by our Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCITs) in the division.”

SOCITs were first formed in 2009 as dedicated, specialist teams that respond to and investigate serious reports of child abuse and sexual offences.

Det Sen Sgt Murphy said the Sex Offender Registry team works closely with SOCITs in ND5 and she noted the development of SOCITs and dedicated Family Violence Investigation Units as one of the most significant changes to policing she has witnessed in her time.

“There have been great advancements to technology and equipment but, for me, how Victoria Police has evolved to better address sexual assault and family violence offences is the greatest achievement,” she said.

“These types of crimes are unfortunately so prevalent in our community and the importance of having expert teams who are highlyskilled in these areas is vitally important to ensuring we best serve and support victims.”

In recognition of her 51 years of outstanding service Det Sen Sgt Murphy was recently awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours list.

When asked what the award meant to her, Det Sen Sgt Murphy said she was both humbled and proud to receive the award.

“It has made all the speed humps I have encountered during my career disappear and the struggles, missed opportunities and sacrifices all worth it,” she said.

Det Sen Sgt Murphy’s efforts over her career have been recognised with several awards, including the Australasian Council for Women in Policing’s Most Outstanding Female Leader Award in 2007, an Australian Police Medal in 2008, and a commendation in 2011 for her work as a unit commander in the aftermath of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

In recognition of being an advocate for changes within the ranks and within the family violence and sexual assault investigation fields, Det Sen Sgt Murphy was inducted in 2020 into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women under the trailblazer category.

The honour, awarded by the Victorian Government, is given to inspiring role models who effectively lead the way for women starting out in a field which is traditionally male dominated and help break new ground in their line of work by challenging traditional gender stereotypes, attitudes and norms.

Det Sen Sgt Murphy said while it’s a huge personal honour, the recognition honours all the advancements made for women in policing over the past 50 years.

“I see it as recognition for all women in policing and of how far we’ve come,” she said.

“I started in a force that had only about 200 female police officers, with very few, if any, in leadership positions.

Now I work alongside about 5,000 female police, who work across all ranks and fields.

“I was chosen for the honour because I’ve been a vocal advocate over the years, which has allowed women today to reap the rewards of people like me who have been tireless advocates for changes within the organisation.

“The art and values of policing are still the same, to serve the community. But how we do that has advanced in so many ways.”

During her 51-year career, Det Sen Sgt Joy Murphy has been at the forefront of significant changes to policing, both within the organisation and the community
Adapted from Police Life Autumn 2021 article, courtesy Victoria Police THE JOURNAL FOR WOMEN AND POLICING 13 WORLDWIDE TRAILBLAZER



Even the most resilient emergency services workers and volunteers can be affected by stress and trauma related to their work, or as a result of other life challenges. Are They Triple OK? resources provide practical tools and tips on how to start an R U OK? conversation with a workmate, friend or family member in the emergency services, to help them feel connected and supported, long before they’re in crisis.

to learn

International Association of Women Police

Policing across the world is a challenging job. It can be even more challenging if you are a Women in Policing.

Women make up 50% of the world’s population but on average only 9% of the world’s police. For more than 100 years an organisation has existed which brings female police officers from across the globe together to offer strength and unity to help overcome those challenges. An organisation which has enabled women working in law enforcement to come together to share experience and best ways of working. An organisation which seeks to raise the number of Women in Policing internationally.

That’s what the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) aims to do every day.

As the world enters the “new normal” in the 2020s, what are the challenges of being a woman in policing/law enforcement? Why is the IAWP important and why should officers from across the Globe become members?

Existing since 1915, the IAWP works to further the cause of women in policing and to ensure they are given the training, tools, support and confidence to be brilliant officers and to challenge the barriers and biases women officers in law enforcement can face.

IAWP President is Deborah Friedl. She says: “The IAWP is a vibrant, dynamic and diverse organization of officers in law enforcement in cities and towns around the globe. Our vision remains for women’s lives to be free from discrimination, valued for their contributions, treated with respect and dignity and to contribute by being an example of excellence in securing a safe, harmonious workplace and society as partners in safety in the criminal justice system.”

Deborah was a Deputy Superintendent with the Lowell Police Department in the State of Massachusetts, USA. She adds: “Empowered women police can deliver real change, not only to their colleagues but also to their communities at large. “In an effort to be responsive to global issues affecting our colleagues around the world, we endeavour to collaborate on issues, strategize toward solutions and identify best practices. Our association can provide

Ecuador Police at the Parade of Nations at the 2022 IAWP conference held at Niagara Falls, Canada
2022 IAWP Award Recipients

support to these causes as a voice to champion change.”

As a professional membership body, The IAWP runs training programmes and educational conferences and workshops, it educates the public and decision-makers about the role of women in policing and rewards and recognises achievements by women in policing. It’s also about tackling gender stereotypes, bringing women officers together to share experiences, improve working conditions opportunities and increase the understanding of women in policing.

For Carla Castillo, a Major in the Ecuadorian Police Service, The IAWP provides a place where “women can strengthen other women” and help themselves and their colleagues. “IAWP has such a strong worldwide network it’s a figurative haven for female police officers,” she says. Carla is Central and South America co-ordinator for IAWP. She adds: “It cannot be denied that there are relevant gender inequality issues at different levels all around the world. However, such issues can definitely be transformed and even eradicated through action.

This network not only facilitates the exchange of knowledge and best practices but also constitutes worldclass support for all of us. In Central and Latin America, it has provided lots of shared knowledge.”

The IAWP has no core funding and relies solely on member subscriptions and donations to allow it to deliver its vital work including further enhancing members’ skills through professional development, training, recognition, mentoring, networking and peer support. Every year, for the past 50+ years, IAWP and its members from across the world get together for an annual training conference where best practice and knowledge are shared.

Examples of topics which are discussed and debated at the Conferences include leadership, mentoring, negotiation skills, use of firearms, human trafficking, domestic violence, supporting victims of sexual abuse and human slavery and understanding body language.

The Conference begins with an emotional “Parade of Nations” where officers from across the planet proudly march in their colourful and varied uniforms around the host city. It is quite a sight.

“All of us in law enforcement are dealing with the same issues all across the world; however the context in which we are dealing with them varies according to location and the resources you have,” says IAWP Western European Coordinator and South Wales Police Chief Inspector Lisa Gore.

“Through IAWP we talk, we share our experiences and our challenges

so we can work together to find solutions to problems far quicker and more efficiently. IAWP also offers the opportunity to make friends, acquire mentors and access professionals and experts in a multitude of law enforcement topics. I attended my first IAWP conference in 2013 in Durban, South Africa,” Lisa adds. I will never forget the intense feelings of pride and camaraderie that I experienced at the Parade of Nations on the first day of that conference - it was quite overwhelming to see so many other female officers in their different uniforms.”

Women are still hugely underrepresented in policing. They have to overcome unconscious and conscious bias, and they often have to fight for their rights to equal pay, equal career opportunities and sometimes even the right to have time off from the job just to start a family. They are all issues and prejudices The IAWP works tirelessly to overcome.

Lisa says. “There are several biases at play which adversely affect women. Men as the majority may be unconsciously selecting men for promotion, development opportunities and mentoring. Performance bias is based on deep-rooted – and incorrectassumptions about women’s abilities and women’s performances tend to be underestimated. Motherhood triggers false assumptions that women are less

Deborah Friedl Lisa Gore Megan Dobbs

committed to their careers and are even less competent. We expect men to be assertive, so when they lead, it feels natural. We expect women to be kind and communal, so when they assert themselves, we like them less,” she adds. “Women will get less credit for accomplishments and are blamed more for mistakes. All of these biases are working together to adversely affect women in policing. The challenge is that these biases are held by women and men, and we are not all willing to accept them.”

IAWP has members from more than 70 countries and 30 affiliates in all corners of the world. From Africa to Asia. From Iceland to Ireland. From the Caribbean to California. The IAWP has a mission statement which envisions a world where police reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and where human rights are protected.

For Megan Dobbs, an Inspector with Victoria Police in Australia, one of the great benefits of is the global connections it can bring.

“Through Annual Conferences, we are given the opportunity to develop relationships, insights into other jurisdictions, share contemporary practice and challenges that are unique to us as women, and we can acknowledge the barriers to promotion and progression,” she says. Megan was IAWP’s International Scholarship

Recipient in 2019. As well as offering strength and unity to female officers, the IAWP also holds an Annual Awards ceremony to celebrate those outstanding female officers from across the world and to highlight their achievements.

“The IAWP promotes women in law enforcement through these Awards,” says Megan. “And it delivers exciting training conferences across the globe. They also create mentoring relationship opportunities,” she says.

“I know first-hand, through my mentee and mentor experiences, how important they are, and how they can contribute to the advancement of women. Since the IAWP 2019 Conference in Alaska, I have had continual communication with many overseas participants from the UK, USA and New Zealand. The IAWP’s strength is that it is built on the experience of women, and both current and retired women contribute to its future direction. With a focus on building capability, it is committed to mentoring and guiding women. With an everchanging world, the importance of

collaboration and connection it critically important,” Megan adds. “Ultimately, it’s about driving improvements for women in policing and helping them to overcome the barriers they face every day. It’s really created a special form of camaraderie.”

As the IAWP proudly proceeds into its second century, Deborah concludes: “Female officers professionally trained and equipped are essential to a modern police organisation but they also play a vital role in removing the barriers to all women’s access to the criminal justice system in their respective communities.

“Empowered women police can deliver real change, not only to their colleagues but also to their communities at large.”

More info available at https:// or email iawp@
“Empowered women police can deliver real change, not only to their colleagues but also to their communities at large.”
2023 IAWP Board Meeting

Spotlight on Australian Border Force Women in Maritime

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is responsible for protecting Australia’s vast 37,000 kilometre coastline; a job it could not do without the women and men in the ABF marine workforce.

Everyday these officers work together to secure an offshore maritime area of almost 45.1 million square kilometres.

The ABF’s marine workforce is deployed to undertake a range of border enforcement activities throughout the Australian maritime Exclusive Economic Zone, including offshore maritime patrols, surveillance and deterrence activities and responding to identified maritime security threats such as prohibited imports and exports, exploitation of natural resources, piracy, illegal activity in protected areas and marine pollution.

Acting Senior Border Force Officer Teagan Murphy decided to join the ABF for a new and challenging career with better work-life balance, and the unique operational and team environment offered in the marine environment. The ABF marine workforce did not disappoint.

“I realised how lucky I was to be able to see such beautiful and remote parts of Australia that most Australians only dream of, like the Cocos Keeling Islands, the Kimberleys, Ashmore Reef and Christmas Island,” she said.

The ABF marine workforce does not work a typical 9 to 5 job. Officers are deployed using an on/off model and can be at sea for 28 to 36 days at a time. “There are many variables, including weather, location and operational tempo which make every day different. While operational requirements always take priority, there are tasks that must be completed everyday including keeping watch, cleaning and maintenance,” Officer Murphy said.

If operational tempo is low, the afternoons can be spent training on the water, working out in the gym or participating in other recreational activities available on board. Officer Murphy feels quite at home on the water.

“The cabins are typically shared between two officers and are pretty comfortable, and the chef prepared meals are unreal,” she said.

The biggest challenge for Officer Murphy is leaving her family for extended periods of time. “There is no doubt it is difficult, but everyone else is in the same boat - pun intended - and going through the same challenges, that’s when your crew becomes your second family,” she said.

The ABF recognises the importance of family networks and work-life balance, and promotes family-friendly policies.

“Prior to this role in the ABF, I had never worked on boats before, so every operation has been new and interesting,” Officer Murphy said.

The ABF’s marine workforce is highly trained and must complete the six-week Border Force Officer Recruit Trainee program, followed by a 16-week marine-specific training program where officers learn seamanship and other professional mariner skills through a Certificate I in Maritime Operations, basic use of force and personal defensive skills, how to board vessels at sea and navigational watch standing, ship’s husbandry and deck maintenance, to name a few. After successfully completing their training, marine officers are deployed on patrols.

To learn more about the ABF’s marine workforce, visit

What does your office look like? Patrolling in the Cocos Keeling Islands

First Women of Colour Network in Australia and New Zealand for a law enforcement and emergency management jurisdiction

The official launch of the Victoria Police Women of Colour Network

In 2022 we met a group of passionate women who made history for Victoria Police by establishing the first volunteer, staff led collective run by and for self-identifying women of colour within a law enforcement and emergency management jurisdiction within Australia and New Zealand.

The network has now officially launched, and we catch up with the Victoria Police Women of Colour Network (WoCN) led by co-founder and Chair Tia Pirihi (Ngāpuhi/Patuharakeke) to learn about the network’s key achievements since it was established in July 2022.

The network is open to all selfidentifying women of colour, and allies currently employed within Victoria Police.


Tia Pirihi

In May, the Victoria Police WoCN hosted their official launch event that celebrated

and delivered on the event theme to ‘amplify and elevate’ women of colour and their voices within Victoria Police. During the launch to ‘amplify and elevate’, co-founder and Deputy Chair Senior Sergeant Maha Sukkar and I spoke about how and why the network was established for Victoria Police. We have received moving responses to our event with members feeling represented and seen in Victoria Police.

Executive Sponsor of the Victoria Police WoCN, Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam, shared with attendees “It’s important to understand the issues

faced by women of colour, so that all women have a workplace in which they thrive and realise their full potential.”


Strength in collective voices is the cornerstone of WoCNs. In April 2022 the Victoria Police WoCN Chair Tia Pirihi presented the case for change to work in ‘Allyship’ with the Women in Policing Advisory Group (WIPAG), which both networks readily agreed to. The ’Allyship’ strategy informs how the two women’s networks operate together united by the common theme of gender that is

Victoria Police Women of Colour Network
Victoria Police WoCN Launch Event 13 May 2023 group photo

delivered through an intersectional lens from the WoCN. Working in Allyship elevates and advocates for greater inclusion within Victoria Police.

Committee member Sheeja Panicker (Intelligence Project Lead) shared, “The acknowledgement that Victoria Police supported the strategy to work in allyship, a strategy that was created by a woman of colour (our Chair Tia Pirihi) to support women of colour, highlights the commitment that we all have a part to play. The ‘Allyship’ with the WIPAG is a breakthrough in creating an inclusive environment and a journey that we don’t want to walk alone but in solidarity.”

The WIPAG is an advisory committee that oversees and provides a statewide support to the Women in Policing Local Committees (WIPLC), which works to provide greater opportunities, mentorship, and inclusivity for women in policing.

Executive Sponsor of the Victoria Police WoCN, Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam shared on International Women’s Day, “The allyship between the Women of Colour Network

and Women in Policing Advisory Group supports intersectionality in Victoria Police’s work towards gender equity and acknowledges the unique experiences of Women of Colour.”

The role of allies is key in creating a culturally safe environment for women of colour and to share the cultural load.

Committee member Sergeant Sophie Todorov (Operations Project Lead) explained, “The Allyship is not a oneoff, it is how we take active action to support our colleagues every day. I want to create many connections through the WoCN to illuminate the importance of allies, empower our champions and forge respect amongst employees to create a respectful and safe workplace culture.”


The Victoria Police WoCN is led by a committee of 10 self-identifying women of colour. The positions have created an additional leadership opportunity for women of colour. Committee member Sue Hine (Public Information Project

Lead) shares her reasons for joining the network and experiences so far.

“As an Aboriginal woman I have worked with Victoria Police for the past 20 years. I wanted to join the WoCN so that I can tell my story to inspire, guide, and connect other women in this organisation through mentorship and support.”

Sue also shared, “The Victoria Police WoCN has taught me about networking and influencing organisational change to break down barriers that exist because of race and gender. Networking is worth every minute that we can devote to it. In joining the committee, I was interested in developing connections with likeminded women to understand their world view and purpose. Since taking on the Public Information Project Lead role, it has given me a great opportunity to learn new skills, to build my knowledge base in the areas of creating a leadership presence, governance and authoring different styles of documents such as nomination forms, articles, and digital communications. The experience has been so rewarding and it is the first

Victoria Police WoCN commitee members Sue Hine, Chair Tia Pirihi. Photo credit Cody Webber.

time that I have worked with a group of women outside of my community. It has helped my ability to connect with a diverse population and not just my own culture as an Aboriginal woman.”

Protective Services Officer committee member Monali Brahmbhatt (Planning Project Lead) shares why she joined the committee. “I have a wide knowledge of culture, religious beliefs and an understanding of contemporary issues women are facing. As a migrant from a diverse background, I think we need to reach that happy stage of development where differences and diversity are not seen as a source of division but of strength and inspiration. Also, I feel it’s your own responsibility as well to educate yourself and reveal your blind spots so that you can be a better colleague and cultivate an environment that allows everyone to thrive. I have always wanted to help women and kids in some way but was never able to find the right steppingstone. I think the Victoria Police WoCN has created an amazing platform for women of colour where we can discuss different issues and can try to resolve in some way by being a person that

actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion through intentional, positive and conscious efforts that benefits people as a whole.”

As co-founders of the network, Chair and intersectional strategist for the Victoria Police WoCN, Tia Pirihi, with Deputy Chair Senior Sergeant Maha Sukkar, will present at the International Women in Policing Conference in Zealand on the topic of Establishing the Victoria Police WoCN - Refreshing the response to diversity and inclusion through volunteer police employee networks.

When we refer to Allyship we mean the status or role of a person [or group] who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalised group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view.

The relationship or status of persons, groups, or nations associating and cooperating for a common cause or purpose., 16 November 2022, Allyship Definition & Meaning |
International Women’s Day image of Sheeja Panicker, Sergeant Sophie Todorov and Protective Service Officer Monali Brahmbhatt
Victoria Police WoCN Launch - Senior Sergeant Maha Sukkar speaking

Leading the Way into the Future for Training

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) are leading the way training is developed and delivered across the State.

Acting Inspector Andrea Timms of the People Capability Command leads a talented team to design, test and deliver different platforms to enhance learning. What drives Andrea was the realisation, that when passively listening or watching training or a conference, the learner only retains 30% of what they have been told. If actively engaged in training through multiple senses and inputs, the amount of content retained increases dramatically. Andrea believes there is the opportunity to reimagine education and deliver training in a different way.

The Digital and Immersive Production training unit is a collaboration of online learning products and immersive technologies and methodologies to make training more engaging. In the QPS, immersive technology is used to fully surrounded the learner in multiple senses, in a safe but simulated environment (visual and audio injects, hard copy injects). For example, the QPS are using Virtual Reality (VR) in training for incident command and also in selection courses for the tactical flight operator selection course. This is currently being expanded to trial other high-risk training areas such as Tyre Deflation Devices.

The QPS has also introduced Avalanche, an immersive software solution for training and exercising scenarios. Avalanche is currently used across multiple capabilities, including detective training investigations, incident command, forensic coordinators, recruit training and counter terrorism. Avalanche is a software program where there are multiple injects of various modalities such as phone, radio, video, text, documents, where multiple syndicates or learning groups will come together to discuss a scenario, engaging in peer-to-peer learning and testing their knowledge skills and behaviours, thereby making training more engaging and authentic.

Immersive technology is new and innovative for the QPS and more broadly in adult learning. There are extended capabilities and technologies available, however it is difficult to get existing technologies fit for purpose. While it can be experimental, especially in VR and augmented reality space, the QPS continues to research and develop new opportunities for enhancing our training programs and curriculums.

As to the future of digital and immersive training, Andrea encourage

areas to “tell us what you want and we will try and build it”. She would like to see digital and immersive technology expanded across multiple capabilities, to supplement or replace high risk and high-cost training practices. It is important we practice our responses to high risk/high harm situations in a safe environment. Immersive technologies can do this. However, it requires a change in the usual way we do things. Immersive learning is great for learners to experience physiological responses, drive culture change and enhance peer to peer learning. “Leading into the Olympics there is huge scope for the QPS to engage with immersive interagency training and scenarios, ensuring we provide a ready workforce and safe environment for the worlds stage in 2032”.

Contact Details for Immersive technologies within QPS are:

Digital and Immersive Production

Education and Training Services

People Capability Command

Queensland Police Service


Tactical Flight Operator (TFO) Selection Course, whereby a virtual police helicopter is circling a suburban environment and participants are required to act as the PolAir TFO and call a pursuit
Acting Inspector Andrea Timms PolAir Tactical Flight Operator Selection Course Proof of Concept environment for VR Tyre Deflation Device training
Proof of Concept Unreal Engine generated interactive environment for DFV training Incident Command training VR environment

The Future Is Here

Genetic testing has come a long way since its invention in 1980s. “I predict that it will not be too long before we can identify anyone from a DNA sample.”

Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy (F/IGG) combines new DNA analysis techniques and traditional genealogy to identify suspects and unknown remains using commercial DNA databases. Once (often distant) relatives of the unknown individual are found on the database, family trees can be built to identify potential candidates. F/IGG produces intelligence leads to investigations where other avenues have been exhausted, and where no match exists on government DNA databases.

Policing is evolving, and with it, the science we use to do our jobs.

F/IGG is one key and rapidly expanding tool that could be a game changer for how we find, link, and bring down criminals and break cold cases. It was used in 2018 to catch the Golden State Killer after his 40 years of terror and again in 1995 to identify a previously unknown serial rapist— Christopher VanBuskirk — in San Diego.

Right now, the work is primarily done in the US, so as part of New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) mission to continually improve our capabilities, NSWPF Forensic Evidence & Technical Services (FETS) Research Coordinator Dr Jennifer Raymond was sent to the US find out how we can use it here. As part of that trip, Dr Jennifer Raymond spent time at the

FBI FIGG Unit, attended conferences and visited several service providers.

“In simple terms, F/IGG is the combination of new genetic analysis methods and traditional genealogy to provide leads to help identity an individual, where no match has been found on our current DNA databases,” Dr Raymond said. “Think of it as ‘long range familial searching’ – with our routine short tandem repeat (STR) DNA familial searching we can identify very close relatives like a parent/child or siblings. F/IGG can identify third and fourth cousin relationships, which greatly expands the DNA toolkit for investigations.”

This will give police more options during an investigation. “If no match is found on the national DNA database, and the sample relates to unidentified remains or a serious offence such as homicide or sexual assault, F/IGG can be used to provide leads to help find the identity of the person.”


There are currently around 150 sets of unidentified humans remains in NSW – F/IGG offers the greatest chance of resolving the identity of these people and bring closure to their family. “There are also many unsolved homicide and sexual assault cases to

which it could be applied to identify the perpetrator. For these cases there must be a DNA sample with probative value (e.g., believed to be left by the offender), of reasonable quality and quantity, and not a mixture,” Dy Raymond said.

“Having said that, the DNA analysis techniques are improving every year, and it is likely that with these improved methods even poor quality, low quantity and mixed DNA samples may prove to be successful.” While there is no change to how sample need to be collected, there is an additional wait time for results. “The DNA samples collected by FETS crime scene examiners can be used for F/IGG, however the DNA analysis needs to be outsourced to private companies as it cannot be performed at Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS).”

“These private companies may be in Australia or the USA. The FETS Science & Research Unit is keeping a close eye on the industry and identifying the most suitable vendors for use by thew organisation.”

The one area that will change is if a reference test is required for F/IGG — a reference test is a volunteer sample from a person believed to be a relative of the unknown individual. Collecting reference tests to determine if there is a relationship can help to narrow down the family

The Familytree DNA laboratory in Houston, Texas, where all the direct-to-consumer tests are analysed

tree lines and close in on the potential candidate. The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is currently conducting a legal review of information and consent forms for this purpose, and they will be released soon. All reference tests for F/IGG will be managed through FETS Science & Research and DNA Management Units.


One challenge of F/IGG is that it is an international discipline – so while the crime being investigated may be in the NSW jurisdiction, the genealogy search could take us all over the world. “Ethical issues might arise should we be asked to help in a genealogical search through Australian records, if the crime relates to a death penalty case, or an abortion. Also, the databases we use have individual policies regarding the crime types that may be applied. However, the language used to describe these crime types is ambiguous and may not directly relate to a NSW crime — e.g. aggravated rape, abduction.”

To navigate these issues, national and international networking groups are being established with the overall aim to develop standards and agreement on F/ IGG best practice. “We have established an Australia & New Zealand F/IGG Community of Interest which has participants from all jurisdictions, working on guidelines. We are also continuing our collaboration with the FBI, as they work to establish a US certification for F/IGG practitioners.

The FBI take a very practical approach to F/IGG, with a strong investigative mindset that clearly sets them apart from private F/IGG practitioners. “I was surprised at the relatively limited access they have to state policing records, compared to what we have here in NSW, yet this clearly hasn’t held them back from solving cases. They are excellent social media stalkers! And they use reference testing effectively to help progress a genealogical search by ruling in or out specific family lines. “One definite recommendation from them is to use plenty of whiteboards and massive computer screens to deal with the family tree building!”


The DNA analysis takes around four to six weeks. The genealogical process can vary widely and is largely dependent on the number of close relatives that appear in the ‘match list’ on the database. “Cases have been solved in the US in a matter of hours, if a relative like a first cousin is identified. Having said that, cases with

low quality matches could take years, waiting for more people to upload to the databases and a closer match identified. The average time for a case solve in the US has been calculated at 12 months.”

Like other technology spaces, the DNA analysis methods used in F/IGG are improving exponentially, and people are already looking at AI to triage and eventually automate the genealogy and tree building process. “I predict that it will not be too long before we can identify anyone from a DNA sample.”


There are very few F/IGG experts in the world and NSWPF is looking to become one. “Through generous investment by FETS, myself and other NSWPF staff (analysts, investigators) have accessed training by the FBI.

“Myself, Manager Alison Sears and FETS Intel Analyst Josh Smith have all completed a Graduate Certificate in

F/IGG through the University of New Haven in the US, the first of its kind in the world.”

Currently no specified certification program has been established but it’s hoped in the coming year or two courses will be created.

“Just when we thought DNA had peaked as an investigative tool, some incredible work by the FBI discovered the potential of this technique for law enforcement and its opened a worldwide door for all unsolved cases.

“The foresight of an FBI agent working with the state police to ‘give this a go’ in the Golden State Killer case really changed the world of forensics.

“We can be incredibly risk averse in forensics and law enforcement generally, but sometimes pushing the envelope can lead to great things.”

Contact #FETSRESEARCH or Dr Jennifer Raymond on au for more information.

Jen Raymond presenting a poster on the NSWPF Privacy Impact Assessment for F/IGG at ISHI
FBI Intel Analyst Stephanie Mellinger, Special Agent Sean Regan, Special Agent Mark James, Special Agent Amy Whitman, & Dr Jen Raymond behind J. Edgar Hoover’s desk at the FBI museum at Washington DC Headquarters


Making it Easier to Solve Crime Faster

Access to Data Science and Analytics is expanding within the Western Australia Police Force, both in staff numbers and work demands.

With ever-increasing amounts of data available to police in different places and on different systems, being able to interrogate, query, link or visualise trends is often prohibitively time consuming or close to impossible.

Veteran police officers will remember a time when we used to have to track down and fight to get every scrap of information.

Now, it’s often a case of having too much information, an overload of CCTV, digital records, telephone data and so on. The challenge now is often identifying and extracting the useful data, from mountains of bulk data.

In order to combat this, the Western Australia Police Force developed a new graph analytics platform, IRIS.

IRIS is a game changer for policing, designed to quickly and easily enable users to uncover the hidden links and relationships between entities including people, places, vehicles and events. It can do so across previously unconnected data sources.

IRIS has already delivered significant successes. Investigators, Frontline Officers and Tactical Intelligence Analysts are using repeatable and scalable methods to join the dots, allowing them to rapidly identify, locate and associate offenders and persons at risk.

The ability to perform visual queries across linked data sources in real-time is delivering more effective decisionmaking and faster crime-solving for the community.

As one police colleague described it, “it’s like google, if google was a search engine for helping you solve crimes.” It’s not an exact analogy, but it’s not bad. In short, it will make your job easier by doing a lot of the tedious and timeconsuming work for you.

IRIS went live on 15 May 2023, rolled out to different user groups across the WA Police Force including Tactical Intelligence Analysts, followed by Investigators and Frontline Officers.

Assistant Director Janelle Baily of Data Science Analytics said, “The journey with IRIS is only just beginning. The coming months will see IRIS further developed in the form of new data sources and additional capability such as automated alerts about patterns of interest and much more. These capabilities will empower users to prevent, disrupt, and solve crimes faster and with more insight into data than ever before.”

Janelle and her team manage numerous projects while continuing to develop new and innovative data capabilities that keep the WA Police Force at the forefront of solving crime and keeping the community safe.

Janelle Baily presenting
IRIS at work

The Power of a Single Conversation

Policing is not just a job.

It is a profession that occupies our lives in ways that only those who are living the experience can understand. It is physical, emotional and it becomes the very essence of how we see ourselves. But what if this job that gives us so much joy and reward in public service also damages us along the journey? This is the reality for many women who in recent times have come to view their policing experiences through a contemporary lens of what we now call sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse.

The idea of revisiting these experiences within the context of a restorative engagement conversation, is one that past and present employees of Victoria Police have been embracing. Led by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme (the Scheme) has been operating since 2020 under a model of independence and confidentiality that provides its participants with a chance to heal the past.

So, what is it like to have a conversation that lifts the lid on thoughts of secrecy, shame, regret and harm? How does a person take themselves back to experiences they may have locked away for many years, and why would they choose to relive the impact of such awfulness?

For former Victorian policewoman Melinda Edwards, who discovered the Scheme through a reference on a Facebook site, the chance to reconcile the past was one worth taking, especially if it could influence the future. And her honesty and bravery has extended to sharing the experience with readers of the Journal:

“Over the years, having spoken to family and friends about my experiences and hearing how horrified they were by what I experienced, made me understand how wrong it all was. I had hidden it within myself for so long, as all I wanted to be and do was policing.”

Melinda describes feeling angry with Victoria Police at the time of leaving her career and that anger resurfacing 15 years later when contemplating her life’s professional and personal trajectory. But she was motivated to share her story with DJCS and facilitated into Victoria Police in order to be able to influence change in the organisation she once loved.

Restorative engagement conferences are held under conditions of confidentiality, good faith, mutual respect and authentic acceptance of the resultant harm. These face-to-face stories generate lessons and themes, which must be acted upon. Critical aspects are its independence and trust in DJCS, as well as reflection by senior police and facilitators.

The redress process has three key roles that supported Melinda from initial contact through to conclusion. These roles are: an engagement officer that assist with the application submission; a facilitator that will help steer the conversation through a model of healing; and a senior police officer who listens to the conversation, acknowledges the harm, and reflects on what has already changed and might change into the future.

“My engagement officer was an expolice officer. This was great as she could understand the issues. She guided me on parts of the program that were available to me, such as counselling.

“The facilitator was supportive and caring, and an expert in the field who assisted me in identifying a suitable reengagement officer for me to speak to. He was present in the restorative engagement conversation. He took notes from me of what I wanted to achieve and was able to weave that through the conversation with the engagement officer.”

Participants are able to select a senior representative from a list of suitably trained police officers who have offered to perform the critical role of representing the organisation. Melinda chose an Assistant Commissioner she did not know from her time in Victoria Police. Together they discovered a


powerful connection to be involved in the cultural reform of policing.

“She was caring and listened. She was able to acknowledge the past wrongs, say sorry and relate them to some of her own experiences. It was from this conversation I was able to recognise why I was so angry with Victoria Police. They had taken my potential from me. I remember saying to the Assistant Commissioner that when I joined in 1988, I wanted to be her, a career Victoria Police officer of thirty to forty years and to achieve the rank of Assistant Commissioner, but Victoria Police took that from me because of sexual assault, numerous sexual harassments, and sexual discrimination. These were behaviours that I did not feel comfortable reporting at the time because of the culture that existed and belief that if I had of reported, my career would have ended.”

Importantly for Melinda, she was able to see the experiences as predatory behaviour.

“I felt the restorative engagement conversation was a validation of all I had experienced. It allowed me to speak freely and be listened to. But most of all I felt like I had been heard. It was an emotional process at times, as I spoke of the impact the behaviours had had on me personally, both physically and emotionally, as well as my career. It made me realise how Victoria Police’s culture at that time took away my potential to be a high performing police officer.”

Melinda’s story covered the decades of the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, which included a sexual assault which occurred within the first four weeks of graduation, by a Senior Sergeant who preyed on his female colleagues. It also covered constant sexualised comments at stations by peers, and behavior that was homophobic and threatening. Amidst these incidents was a young woman trying to fit in with the boys and the drinking culture of an organisation masking cultural attitudes that would force many people to leave their job, disillusioned and devastated.

Assistant Commissioner Lauren Callaway described the experience from her perspective.

“It is important to acknowledge this work actually started in 2014, when Victoria Police commissioned the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) to undertake an independent review into Victoria Police. The review produced findings that are now widely accepted as the turning point in our cultural reformation, achieved through strong leadership and spurred on by the bravery

of those victim survivors who chose to come forward and share their stories.”

Lauren said the approach to the conversation had to be centred around a willingness to have the leadership psyche of the organisation influenced, and be willing to be completely immersed in experiences that were raw, confronting and deeply personal.

“It is not an easy story to hear. While I was listening to the experience of Melinda, I could reflect deeply on my role within the organisation, firstly as a young policewoman who was very much trying to fit in with the dominant culture, but also as someone who has the privilege of rank today to make a positive difference.”

Lauren and Melinda were able to talk through specific incidents with a view to seeing themes and opportunities for reform. Some of the key themes included the psychological impact of policing versus the psychological impact of harassment and discrimination, with a need for greater emotional support for frontline police. Other insights included a need for the organisation to embed anti-discrimination policies, resetting an environment of inclusion and creating a culture change focused on values.

Melinda says she was keen to speak to someone who would recognise the need for change.

“I wanted to be able to influence. My previous experience with Victoria Police was with the ‘gate-keepers’ at Inspector and Superintendent level. So, I wanted someone with real power and influence to set strategic direction. As a result, I have reconnected with Victoria Police and have been able to share my broader experiences outside of policing, as well as my historical perspective.

“Lauren gave freely of her time, and I was not rushed in the process. In fact, we spent over four hours together in conversation.”

Whilst the Scheme operates under a model of strict confidentiality, Melinda (and Lauren) jointly consented to sharing the experience in the public domain of the policing community as a way of exposing the benefits of restorative conversations to other policing jurisdictions.

“The restorative engagement process helped me to understand my feelings about Victoria Police, gave me an opportunity to reflect and forgive, to move on, and contribute to lasting change. It has been a positive experience for me. I cannot turn back time and have my career given back to me, but I have been able to influence for the future. I am proud of that and my contribution to Victoria Police.”

The final word belongs to Melinda: “In my professional expertise now, taking a victim-centred, trauma informed approach is essential to managing workplace conduct and behaviours. There are lessons to be learned across all jurisdictions and workplaces where male power-based hierarchies exist. And on a very personal level it means everything for an organisation to say sorry with meaning and action behind it.”

* This article was self-initiated by Melinda and Lauren outside the usual conditions of strict confidentiality that are at the foundation of the Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme. No information from Lauren’s role in other restorative conversations has informed this article.

The Scheme do not publicise the names of past and present members who have accessed the Scheme. Nor do they identify the identities of Senior Representatives who have been involved in restorative engagement processes as an organisational representative.

Melinda Edwards


Improving Radio and Mobile Data Access in WA

The Western Australia Police Force is responsible for the world's largest geographical police jurisdiction, covering 2.5 million square kilometres with over 150 police stations across 8 metropolitan and 7 regional districts.

Currently, only 26 per cent of Western Australia is covered by either a radio or mobile phone network which presents challenges for police officers working in or travelling through regional areas.

With many regional stations, reliable technology is vital to provide officers with remote access and connectivity to policing systems, resulting in a safer environment for officers and the community.

EFFECTIVE communications are one of the most important tools in the policing toolbox. Anyone who has travelled across Western Australia will have experienced issues with communication.

In addition to having reliable voice communications, access to mobile data is vital to providing intelligence and information to officers in the field, further enhancing both the effectiveness of the response to the community and officer safety.

To improve the safety of officers and enhance operational capabilities, the WA Police Force commenced a trial of Starlink’s low-earth orbit satellite network in March 2023 with the aim of significantly improving radio and mobile data access in regional Western Australia.

Starlink, a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX,

provides satellite Internet access coverage to over 53 countries, including Australia.

The trial is testing the connectivity to the agency Police Operations Centre and the State Operations Command Centre (SOCC) via the Starlink network and supports the future concept surrounding the multi-agency operations.

This will enable WA Police Force officers to access all communications platforms when traditional radio and mobile phone networks are unreliable or non-existent due to the remoteness of the policing district.

Similar applications have been used by industry across the world,

however, this is the world first law enforcement application.

The WA Police Force integrated solution provides for ‘anywhere communications’ meaning that One Force applications with Apple CarPlay integration and the newly procured Harris Radio will provide effective communication, regardless if police are responding to an incident or operation outside of traditional communications infrastructure.

For the first time anywhere in the world, police will be fully connected (voice and data) to all officer safety and operational applications, as well as mission critical radio communications.


The equipment includes a highperformance and low-profile Starlink satellite antenna which is suitable for mounting on all operational police vehicles and provides connectivity for the police vehicle communications ecosystem including police radios and digital devices, such as OneForce mobile phones.

State Intelligence and Command

Acting Commander Jodie Pearson said the April 2023 solar eclipse in Exmouth provided an important opportunity to test the capabilities of the system. “Multiple vehicles deployed in Exmouth were equipped with satellite technology,” she said. “The officers in these vehicles were able to maintain connectivity and communications for the duration of the event, even in areas without radio or mobile phone networks. The technology proved to be effective when the mobile phone network was congested too. This is key to maintaining emergency services communications in a critical incident,” she added. “The feedback being received is so valuable. Feedback allows us to make sure the technology is fit for purpose. We have received multiple comments that officers consider this technology is a ‘game changer’ and would benefit all regional police officers.”

Acting Commander Pearson said in addition to the vehicles in Exmouth, Kintore Police have had the capability installed at the Police Station. “This is a remote station located on

the Northern Territory border and the trial is also about to extend to Jigalong, Burringurrah, Kalumburu and Balgo,” she said.

The platform provides 250mb/s speeds even while travelling at 110km/h and has been certified as safe-for use in police vehicles.

The WA Police Force is working with other State Government agencies, as well as interstate public safety agencies to investigate whether the technology is fit for purpose for a range of remote community based frontline workers, including health, education, community, fire and ambulance. This will ensure access to services provided to the

community are available regardless of the remoteness of the location.

The ability to collaborate with industry leaders who have industrialised this capability will ensure that WA Police Force can inform Government partners to deliver a scalable fit for purpose solution which will mitigate the communications challenges in regional Western Australia.

In June 2023, Commander Pearson was invited to attend the design and development facility at SpaceX, Los Angeles, California, USA where she presented to the SpaceX Senior Executive on the Western Australian operational use cases.

Jodie Pearson visiting SpaceX in California

Location Switch helps turn around Gender

Imbalance among CIB trainees

A Detective Development Course run in a New Zealand North Island city shows location matters when it comes to attracting women into training to become investigators.

The course in Hamilton earlier this year attracted 17 women out of the 24 participants – a much higher proportion of women than is usual for these courses, which are typically run at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) in Porirua and in Tāmaki Makaurau (Greater Auckland).

“We know there are disproportionately fewer women coming into CIB compared with the numbers we see going into recruit training, and we’re wanting to find ways to change that,” says Detective Inspector Marc Hercock, the RNZPC’s Manager Professional Development (Investigations & Intelligence).

“This course shows that removing one obstacle – having to train away

from home – can help remove the gender imbalance.”

The Detective Development Course is four weeks’ long and is a requirement to enter the detective training pathway.

For the past three years some courses have been run in Waikato and Bay of Plenty with significant positive feedback, and Marc says credit is due to those districts for sponsoring the courses and supporting their staff to join them.

Three of the 17 women on the Hamilton course spoken to all agree on their motivation for participating –location, location, location.

Constable Rachel Forgeson, who works PST in Morrinsville, Waikato,

says the location was definitely the deciding factor for her.

“I reside in Hamilton and have a threeyear-old and a one-year-old. We have had several health issues with the oneyear-old, which has resulted in him relying heavily on me breastfeeding him.

“There was no way that I would have been able to leave him to attend the course elsewhere. Being able to return home at night and help with dinner time and bedtime routines was a game changer.”

It was ‘fur babies’ and a house on the market that made the Hamilton-based course the best option for Detective Constable Sarah Hodgkinson, Child Protection Team West, Waikato.

From left: Constable Rachel Forgeson, Detective Constable Sarah Hodgkinson, and Constable Kelsie Lovell

“It definitely made life easier … managing things with the real estate agent would have been a nightmare from Wellington or Tāmaki Makaurau.”

For Constable Kelsie Lovell, also in PST Morrinsville, keeping her gym routine going was important, along with the comfort of being able to study at home in the evening.

“I only live about 10 minutes away from the venue so this was a very easy location to get to. For me this made a huge difference as I am heavily into my CrossFit, so being able to go to the gym and carry on with routine was great.”

As for their time spent on the course, they are full of praise for the support they received and the quality of the training from Detective Sergeants Bryan Laumatia, Mark Jamieson and James Ralph. Their experience on the course has confirmed for them the CIB is the right career choice.

Rachel: “The trainers were outstanding. Their passion, understanding and help was next level. They really emphasised that everyone has their own style of policing and many things (not only the top marks) can make you an amazing detective.

“I know that balancing family life and work life is a juggle for all working parents. My experience with the support from Police has been excellent and I cannot fault it.”

Sarah: “From day one our trainers were supportive and had our backs. They were open to questions and helping us, and wanted us all to get through with as low stress as possible. They still check in now and encourage us to book in a module etc. They’re awesome.

“From early on in my career I’ve had sergeants tell me to join the CIB and not to leave it too long, and it’s always been a path that has appealed to me. Probably the biggest challenge for me was trusting that I was ready to give it a go and I’m very glad I did.”

Kelsie: “I found the instructors extremely helpful and understanding toward different learning styles. It is an extremely content-heavy course so having the support from them was huge to succeeding.

“I have always been interested in the investigation world and have had a couple of bosses with a CIB background who have inspired me over the years –their wealth of knowledge amazed me.”

Along with the trainers, Practice Leader Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Traviss provides valuable support ensuring participants have a balance between the training and their home life.

“Regardless of your family situation we will make it work, we will help you to be successful,” says Tim.

“For instance, in the past six months we have had three pregnant women do the Detective Development Course. One was 38 weeks’ pregnant when she completed and came first on the course.”

Marc says it’s great to see more women choosing to add value to Police through the CIB while deepening their skillsets.

“There’s no doubt there’s more work to do to break down the barriers to joining this great career path,” he says.

“From my experience, becoming a detective is incredibly worthwhile and fulfilling. It opens up many opportunities in Police and I want to make sure we keep people like Rachel, Sarah and Kelsie in mind as we keep exploring ways to diversify the CIB’s talent pool.”

Book your donation today Give life. Give blood. give blood THE JOURNAL FOR WOMEN AND POLICING 33 INNOVATION

From Little Things, Big Things Grow….

When she started ‘putting dots on a map’ back in 1996, Inspector Nikala Parsons had no concept of how important this would be in an operational policing environment.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in its infancy provided policing organisations with a powerful analytical tool to support decision making and improve operational efficiency through crime mapping, hot spots and trends. The landscape has clearly changed since then as has the role mapping plays in operational safety.

In the 17 years since working for Tasmania Police, Nikala continues to explore the development of technology capabilities to improve the efficiencies and operational safety of emergency services. Her strong sense of relationship and engagement with persons across law enforcement, both nationally and internationally, can be relied upon as she conceptualises and delivers innovative solutions across the business. Her ability to create practical solutions to ensure Tasmania Police is evolving in emerging technologies, contributes to Tasmania Police knowing no boundaries, both in a spatial sense and the policing environment.

Nikala is in the final months of preparing to deliver the $763M Tasmanian Government Radio Network (TasGRN), the largest ever project committed to by the Tasmanian Government which will see a fully digital, encrypted and interoperable network across the state. The mission critical, public grade safety (P25) radio network, provides more than just a critical communication service for Tasmania Police, it also provides a unique opportunity to use Nikala’s strong technical background in spatial capability development to provide an

innovative solution for the replacement of aging location services and mobility services.

Nikala says, ‘It is more important than ever when we are focussing on recruiting and retention of members, particularly in new generations, that we meet their expectations in having technology to provide them with tools and resources that enhance productivity, efficiency, and connectivity. The high expectations that technology and information is readily available and seamlessly integrated into their workplace is a powerful tool. That is why combining the TasGRN with newly developed location service capability is so important’. This power of being able to be connected and access real time information is critical for operational safety in locating addresses, finding facilities, other policing resources in their workplace, whether it be in-vehicle devices, smartphones or from a resource co-ordination perspective. As part of the delivery of the TasGRN, Nikala has been able to harness the capabilities of the P25 Radio network and associated metadata to integrate with existing and future policing systems to provide improved officer safety.

Nikala’s formal qualifications in GIS and Urban and Regional Planning have also been instrumental in conceptualising and delivering technology enabled solutions around location services, mobility solutions, automatic vehicle location and computer aided dispatch systems with the focus on operational safety. She was instrumental in conceptualising and developing of the

Common Operating Platform (COP), a single spatial view of shared information for emergency service organisations for use in the critical emergency incident planning response activities, which also includes vehicle location services. The COP was a finalist in the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards for recognising collaboration and innovative thinking in disasters and emergencies.

“It is a privilege to be able to shape and influence technology and innovation from within Tasmania Police to continuously improve our operational efficiencies and safety. As a smaller jurisdiction, I value the strong relationships I have formed with other policing agencies, nationally and internationally, who have been invaluable in our project”.

Inspector Nikala Parsons

Kiwi Cops on Diversity Quest


comes to the development of women

New Zealand Police has been rolling out a network of Women’s Development and Diversity Advisors within the twelve policing districts.

Their mission is to identify barriers to growth and promotion and to provide opportunities and support for staff to advance.

One of the first to take up the roles was Senior Sergeant Yvette McKelvie of Wellington District.

No stranger to research (she holds a degree in Psychology and a Masters in International Security), Yvette got stuck in by interviewing about 40 per cent of the women in her district. There are almost 300 female staff.

“This was where I was aiming to get my benchmark, to understand the challenges and opportunities, and to look at the past and the future.

“I felt quite privileged talking to staff. A lot of people shared personal information. It was also good to hear women say they’ve had a good career and that they haven’t experienced any challenges.”

Yvette says the interviews enabled her to understand how all staff can be supported and to focus on what inclusive leadership and inclusivity means in Wellington District.

“Understanding diversity can really enhance the way we do business. If you

understand the dynamics of your team (analytical thinkers, emotional thinkers, etc), then you’ll be able to see how someone can add value to your team over and above what face value diversity looks like (ethnicity and gender).”

A cheerful, upbeat person, Yvette says she was always going to be a cop. After university and an OE, she worked in a café before joining Police. She started out on the Public Safety Teams and then shifted to Intelligence, where she was promoted to sergeant (all while having children and knocking off the Masters).

Asked what gets her up in the morning, apart from her family, she says she loves life and work and feels very connected to her purpose. “I’ve got to get up to get it done.”

And getting it done she does. Having now held her role for two years, Yvette has job clarity. “I see it as having two different streams. On the one hand, individual support, advocacy and development for staff, and on the other it’s about influencing leadership.

“I’ve helped individuals in different ways, such as them seeking development support or assisting with challenges related to Flexible Employment Options.

“Often, it’s just having someone in place who can lead a conversation and go ‘right, we’re looking for this outcome’.

And we need to understand where the give is in both of those spaces. Where can we strike a balance, where can we ensure that our staff feel valued and able to support Flexible Employment Options, but also understanding within their workgroup, where the pain point is and where demand is the highest.”

She says having the support of Wellington District Commander, Corrie Parnell, has been a huge factor in the establishment of the Women’s Development and Diversity Advisor position.

“He had to plant the seed with his leadership team to start with and create the conditions for change that we all wanted. And then when we came to the table with our pitch for the role, they were already in a space where they were wanting to try something different.

“I feel well supported. And I think that makes a huge difference. When you’ve got a leadership team and people around you that are headed in the same direction who are prepared to do the mahi (work) alongside you.”

So, what about the end game (if there is one)? Yvette says, “I think it’s a continuum.” She agrees with what someone told her the other day: ‘diversity and inclusion is a journey, not a destination’.

and ensuring there’s a diverse range of employees, a growing team has your back.
Yvette McKelvie with Tasman District Commander Tracey Thompson

NSW Sexual Violence Strategy Projects

A range of resources and projects have been developed to further enhance the police response to sexual violence.

In March 2022 the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) Commissioner endorsed the sexual violence strategy to ensure the NSWPF has the capacity to identify and implement the best practice and response to sexual violence in New South Wales.

A key component of the strategy is to build upon the work already being done by various commands and to ensure all stakeholders; the community, victims, health services, police and prosecutors are on the same page.

The Sexual Violence Implementation Working Group is pursuing initiatives that improve the investigation of

sexual offences, as well as respond to community concerns around the victim experience in the criminal justice system. Some initiatives extend beyond the immediate sexual violence response and seek to advance organisational culture and capability factors. These initiatives will positively impact multiple policing areas.


The Community Portal and Sexual Assault Reporting Option (SARO) went live on 30 November 2022. The Portal will also include a sexual violence

information page to support the online reporting of sexual assault. This function will enhance the reporting of sexual assault and give victims greater support and more options.

In addition, there are plans to further develop the Community Portal to include a video conferencing function that allows victims to seek information about the investigation process and the support available before making a formal report.

Commander Sex Crimes Squad, Det Supt Jayne Doherty said this function will give victims more options to report their experiences. “Video conferencing

From left: Full Stop Australia CEO Hayley Foster, Survivor Advocate Harry and Det Supt Jayne Doherty, Commander of Sex Crimes Squad
Full stop Australia runs the National Survivor Advocate Group program that brings together people with lived experiences of sexual, domestic and family violence from all walks of life to drive change. Hayley Foster is a representative on the SWMR exceptional clearance review committee as an advocate for victims.

will enable victims to speak to police from a comfortable location and eliminate the need for them to present to a police station,” she said. “It also makes police more accessible to victims in regional areas.”


Several sexual violence-related training courses are being developed and evolved to ensure investigators are provided the skills to effectively investigate sex crimes, understand the victim’s broader experience, and anticipate what needs victims may have during their involvement in the criminal justice system.

The People & Capability Command have redesigned the Adult Sexual Violence course in consultation with internal and external subject matter experts. The program develops investigative knowledge around grooming and coercive control, patterns of offender behaviour, and victim responses. The pilot program was delivered in November 2022 and will become a mandatory program for those progressing to the Detective Designation Course.

Bias training has been developed and will be introduced into the Constable Development Training, Detectives Designation Course and Interviews with Vulnerable People. “General Duties officers are often the first point of contact for sexual assault victims, yet they haven’t previously received specialist sexual assault training,” Det Supt Doherty said. “This forms part of better equipping staff with the knowledge and tools to ensure a victim centric traumainformed approach to victims.”

There are also plans to develop an organisation-wide foundational training program. This training will develop officers’ understanding on relationship-based (domestic & intimate) sexual violence and improve officers’ understanding of offender and victim behaviours. Sexual violence portfolio holders (SVPH) have been introduced and are Detective Sergeants who oversee the management of sexual violence investigations, provide specialist advice, and uplift investigators’ victimcentric service delivery.


There are ongoing trials of the FBI exceptional clearance model which ensures sexual violence incidents

are investigated to a high standard before being closed. “The organisation recognises that sexual violence is traumatic and not all victims are able to participate in the investigation initially,” Det Supt Doherty said. “The exceptional clearance ensures all reasonable information and evidence is collected so the investigation and brief are better prepared when the victim is ready to participate, and the case is reopened.”

The exceptional clearance model also allows investigators to clear a crime report by exception means when some element beyond law enforcement control precludes issuing formal charges against the offender. Under the guidelines, a case can only be cleared by exception when law enforcement meets all four of the following criteria: Definitively established the identity of the offender, Gathered enough information to support an arrest, charge, and turning over to the court for prosecution, dentified the exact location of the offender so the subject could be taken into custody, and There is some reason outside law enforcement control that precludes arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender

“The outcomes of matters put for exceptional clearance in the trial areas has already begun to show the value of this innovative approach. Thus far the exceptional clearance approach has identified a forced prostitution ring, matters that are suitable for charge and importantly has provided NSWPF with a greater data set on sexual assault MO and offenders. I’m quite confident that this will become the norm for investigation of serious victim-based crime.” Det Supt Doherty said.


The organisation has secured funding to undertake a public campaign to raise awareness of victims’ reporting options and challenge the misconceptions of sexual assault in the community. “It’s important we all understand the needs and experiences of sexual assault victims so we can be leaders in the community. We can prevent sexual violence from occurring by changing the way the community thinks and talks about violence, gender, power and relationships.”


There are several other projects being considered or in their early stages of development including:

• Sex Crimes Squad reviewing sexual violence investigative guidelines to ensure consistency with the sexual violence strategy.

• Developing a survey for victims to share their reporting experience. This provides a performance measure earlier in the criminal justice process and allows police to identify issues and adapt to feedback.

• Reinstating NSW Police Force participation in ODPP Sexual Assault Review Committee review sexual assault prosecutions and gather information on the ODPP decision making, investigative issues and failed prosecutions.

• The drafting and endorsement of a minimum standard for victim interview rooms by Field and Region Deputy Commissioners.

• The pursuit of legislation and policy changes to improve victim experiences at court by PPLEC. Special considerations for child abuse and domestic violence cases at court are also being reviewed for their suitability in sexual violence cases.

• SCC and PCC seeking opportunities to reinforce changes through the promotion system and leadership training.

The sexual violence strategy has been developed around five strategic objectives: Emphasise the seriousness of sexual violence and prioritise sexual violence responses. Adopt a victim-centric and trauma focused approach to responding to sexual violence. Improve information management and data analysis to drive targeted prevention, disruption and investigation responses to sexual violence. Increase collaboration with government and non-government stakeholders.

Establish service delivery standards and evaluative measures across workplace culture, training, community engagement, incident reporting, investigations, interagency engagement and prosecutions.


Women in Innovation and Technology

Innovation and technology are at the core of how the Western Australia Police Force operates; something that can only be achieved from enabling a diverse workforce.

This journey began in late 2019 with the roll out of the latest mobile devices (Apple iPhones known as OneForce mobiles) to all frontline officers, completing a national transition to better enable operational capabilities in the field.

Since then, the WA Police Force has been committed to disrupting old processes with evolving technology to improve operational policing at all levels of the agency, and so many women have been essential to making this happen.

This article highlights a few of these women who have been instrumental not only for facilitating this transition, but for establishing a foundation of innovation that the WA Police Force continues to build upon now and into the future.

Recognising the possibilities that contemporary mobile devices provided, in 2021 the agency introduced an enterprise grade application called OneForce Core, allowing for Entity Searching, CAD Tasking, Traffic Infringements and Custody capabilities

while in the field; increasing the efficiency of frontline operations and incident responses.

This application is used by over 5,000 members with over 17 million user transactions a month.

This advancement also commenced the process of decommissioning and removing outdated mobile data terminals (up to 15 years old) fitted within the fleet of police vehicles, increasing ease of access to information and improving officer safety.

In collaboration with global tech giants Apple and Motorola, the WA Police Force achieved a “first in the world” integration of Apple CarPlay with a public safety application (OneForce Core) in police vehicles.

CarPlay allows officers to complete various actions using voice-to-text verbal commands through Apple Siri, resulting in greater control, safety and situational awareness while on the road.

Speaking about her involvement with the project, Senior Constable Anthea

DeVries (Digital Policing Project Officer & Business Engagement) said:

“I had the opportunity to help in the design and final applications of OneForce Core. This enabled me to put my voice and frontline experience towards the creation of the Electronic Traffic Infringement’s and Apple CarPlay. I felt I could give invaluable insight as I have been frontline in various rolls for the majority of my career, predominantly in traffic departments. This enabled me to utilise my first-hand experiences to help make a user-friendly product and assist frontline officers with a streamlined process.”

OneForce Core expanded over 2022 and 2023 with the introduction of capability to allow frontline officers to submit Incident Reports and serve Short-term Exclusion Orders in the field.

Senior Test Analyst, Gayani Manipura, was an integral part of the applications development and delivery. Looking back at her time on the project, Gayani said: The team widely recognized and appreciated my

and diligent

Photo Credit: Peter Field. From left: Gayani Manipura – Senior Test Analyst, Jodie Ng – Senior Change and Communications Analyst, S/C Antheia DeVries – Project Officer, Melanie Hill – Test Analyst, Georgina Stutzer – Business Analyst

work in delivering a product that precisely met the intended requirements. The successful implementation of the OneForce Core App, incorporating critical functionalities like Traffic Infringements, Incident Reports, and Short-Term Exclusion Orders, consistently attained outstanding results.

This accomplishment stands as a testament to the exceptional level of teamwork and collaboration shown by the entire project team. Through effective coordination and cooperation, we were able to achieve remarkable success in ensuring the seamless functioning and greater performance of the OneForce Core app.”

Despite not being from the WA Police Force, Stephanie Buttigieg – Software Project Manager for Motorola Solutions –also found the OneForce Core project to be a great learning experience.

Working in the field of technology does not come without its challenges. Senior Developer, Cath Watson, wrote queries to extract and insert data into the legacy system by developing the API which provided officers within the field the ability to access information such as person information (including alerts, warnings, court orders, restraining orders, warrants), vehicle information and incidents. She said:

A purpose-built Apple CarPlay unit has been provided in the WA Police Force Academy’s recently built “Lance Martin Operational Technology Hub” with a OneForce Core training environment soon to be released to allow for police recruits to become familiar in using this key frontline operational application.

Senior Change and Communications Analyst, Jodie Ng delivers all change management strategy and communication plans for the Digital Policing Division. She said:

“Challenging old processes with enhanced ways of working smarter is vital in our thinking in the technology space, while officer safety, solving crimes faster and keeping our community safe lies at the heart of what we do. This fast-paced industry requires a wide-range of skills and knowledge with clear communication between team members to deliver products to the frontline with efficiency and high quality.”

The achievements by women in the technology space in the WA Police Force is endless, including Test Analyst, Melanie Hill who was part of the Protected Entertainment Precinct (PEP) project. She said:

Policing was a new domain for me, and until then I only had a general citizen appreciation of law enforcement. Within the first few days of my engagement, I realised I had limited awareness of an officer’s day-to-day life on the job. Thankfully, both Motorola and the WA Police Force offered me opportunities within a short while to be exposed to what it means to be a police officer, how the mobility solution we were implementing supported them whilst working in the field and I have discovered a newfound respect for all those who commit their life to wear blue shirts.”

“One challenge I faced was integrating new technology with the legacy system using old technology, so as to insert data and not just read the information from the database. Inserting a full incident was challenging, as there’s a lot of data required to create an incident and it must be validated within the legacy system and provide a response in a timely manner to the officer in the field.”

“Being involved in a project where officers remain in the field for longer and not having to come back to the office to do the full data entry which is a time-consuming process was a highlight in my work.”

These projects require training and development strategies to ensure the successful uptake of new technological enhancements through the adoption of change management by the agency.

Strategic communication plans ensure officers are supported through the transition of new and enhanced technology with regular communication and relevant hands-on training.

“The PEP project was being part of the team to deliver e-Service for the Agency which is a stepping stone to making it available for other documents requiring service (based on if legislation allows it). The different teams worked well together and we achieved the goal of making the PEP legislation available to officers on the mobile and delivering a form of e-Service to allow officers to remain in the field and the business is happy with the overall system.”

By committing to introducing contemporary technology for operational duties and challenges with dynamic teams, the agency achieved a rapid and comprehensive implementation of police tactical mobility.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Andy Greatwood of Technology Portfolio, WA Police Force said:

“Project teams should always ensure diversity of input in order to achieve the best results. WA Police Force One Force Core is an example where an IT platform was delivered that is unique, innovative and representative of a diverse project team delivering for a diverse workforce”

The diverse skillset of team members is frequently highlighted as a key source to success within the agency. Business Analyst, Georgina Stutzer, worked with the Oracle Applications Express (APEX)


development team to deliver APEX technology solutions to create and maintain Unlawful Consorting Notices, Dispersal Notices, Firearms Prohibition Orders and PEP Exclusion Orders; a product called OneSource. She said:

“With every new project the APEX development team adopted the same approach – gather requirements, seek alignment, start developing, playback,refine, repeat. It sounds mundane, but there is so much satisfaction in having a team that functions like a well-oiled machine. Being able to deliver fast, time and time again was the best part.”

What is even more rewarding is the feedback from these women on their experience and growth over this time.

Senior Constable Anthea DeVries –Project Officer:

“Prior to going to the Digital Policing Division, I had no understanding of how much work goes into creating an application. I was also educated on how much can be achieved when different agencies come together to create a product, especially the interaction between Apple, Motorola and police. One main thing I did take away from the project is it doesn’t matter what section you are in or who you are dealing with, communication is key.”

Gayani Manipura – Senior Test Analyst:

“I have proactively enhanced my expertise in various areas, including test

management, stakeholder engagement, and deepening my knowledge of policing operational domains such as custody, incident reports, PEP short-term exclusion orders, and family violence. This commitment to continuous upskilling has enabled me to effectively navigate complex testing scenarios and engage with stakeholders at all levels while maintaining a comprehensive understanding of the details within law enforcement operational processes.”

Jodie Ng – Senior Change and Communications Analyst:

“Working in the technology space requires the ability to think outside the box and readiness for new ideas and challenges. The opportunities to improve and develop processes is endless which makes the role very rewarding, especially when the work

has a direct impact on ensuring the safety of our officers in the community every day.”

Stephanie Buttigieg – Software Project Manager, Motorola Solutions:

“Being part of the OneForce Core Project means that there’s an opportunity to learn every day. My most significant takeaway so far is how much we can leverage technology to create a safer society. The team at the WA Police Force inspire me for being innovators, and major disruptors in Digital Policing. I am excited about all the work done so far and keen to see what is coming next.”

OneForce Core continues to expand with future initiatives already in development with its success driven by valuable input from its diverse workforce.

Photo Credit: Ben Cross. Two police recruits interacting with OneForce Core Apple CarPlay at the Lance Martin Operational Technology Hub, WA Police Academy


An Innovative Approach to Tackling Knife Crime in Victoria

The Victoria Police Policing Research and Reviews Division explores innovative approaches to address policing challenges.

It has shown that a Think Tank exercise is a cost effective and expedient mechanism to identify key issues and problem-solve, with the concept readily transferable to other policing challenges such as hoon driving, sex offending, or cybercrime.

In December 2022, the Policing Research and Reviews Division facilitated seventy-six Victoria Police employees coming together to form an Anti-Knife Crime Think Tank. This was a proactive exercise noting an increase in knife related offending across Victoria in

family violence and non-family violence settings, in line with national and international trends. Undeniably, knife related crime has the potential to cause severe physical and psychological harm to victims and poses a serious risk to community safety. It is an issue faced by policing jurisdictions, globally, and the drivers of this type of offending include gang culture and affiliation, social disadvantage, and inequality. Research indicates some people – most commonly youths – often carry edged weapons as a form of self-protection,

with a fear of being victimised. Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, this also increases their likelihood of being victim of knife related crime.

The Think Tank explored what is known about why knife crime is occurring and what can be done to address it, in a local context.

This article seeks to explore the elements of a good Think Tank, and the factors that enable it to be successful, if success is measured by diversity of thought and representation, innovative thinking where all voices are heard, and


the exercise maximises the opportunity to learn and contribute for everyone attending. A Think Tank that brings people together to brainstorm a problem and explore opportunities, when coupled with best practice research, can have positive impact, and feed an appetite for positive change. It is hoped that in sharing our learnings and key factors for success with the wider policing community, actions can be contextualised, and outcomes improved, elsewhere also.


The Policing Research and Reviews Division sought to outline current issues around knife crime in Victoria, particularly pertaining to young people and youth gangs. It produced a detailed research paper which examined the prevalence and drivers of offending and explored local and intrajurisdictional legislative and non-legislative mechanisms to address it. The paper was disseminated to internal stakeholders to provide contemporary awareness, generate discussion, and seek feedback and ideas from across the organisation. Critically though, the paper was uploaded to another Policing Research and Reviews Division initiative, called the Learning Locker. This is an electronic portal showcasing research, evaluations, case studies and papers written by Victoria Police employees. This made the content readily accessible throughout the organisation, not just to previously identified stakeholders. It introduced and engaged a whole new cohort of interested parties with an appetite for change. The positive uptake and high level of interest generated was such that Policing Research and Reviews Division then initiated and facilitated an in-person Think Tank exercise, via an Expression of Interest process. Engagement and representation occurred from across the organisation, including but not limited to Prosecutions Division, Intelligence practitioners, operational members of all ranks, corporate representatives, State Anti-Gang detectives, and the Policy and Legislation Division.

KEY SUCCESS FACTOR # 1: Share the issue organisationally and encourage wide-ranging representation and cognitive diversity among interested participants.

Participants were sent the research paper and key documents prior to the Think Tank event. This enabled participants to readily contribute and expediently explore the issue with an assumed level of knowledge, rather than having to have it briefed to them at the start of the day.

KEY SUCCESS FACTOR # 2: Detailed pre-reading, so the Think Tank begins with a level of assumed knowledge and subject literacy.


Practicalities and logistics when bringing a large group of people together can undeniably be complex, and plans can be derailed if timelines are not strictly adhered to, or offline and unrelated discussions are not curtailed. On this occasion, the Think Tank was planned and facilitated by Superintendent Mark Langhorn and his team, who are trained and experienced facilitators adept at setting a clear agenda, guiding a discussion, and enforcing time limits and group rules.

KEY SUCCESS FACTOR # 3: Ensure the services of experienced facilitators who have good interpersonal and time management skills. Mindful that some participants may be unprepared or unwilling to speak freely in the presence of people unfamiliar or senior in rank to them, the Think Tank design was purposefully inclusive, accommodating a range of working styles and personality types. Several poster-sized printed copies of an Issues Map Template (also known as a ‘mind map’) were placed on tables within a large room. The facilitators encouraged participants to move freely, write their submissions directly or on sticky-notes and place the notes on the paper, thus enabling anonymity if that was what was desired, but also enabling and encouraging ‘bluesky’ thinking, and the ability to speak truth to power and have one’s voice symbolically heard. This method has proven successful in engaging introverts and deep thinkers, who can otherwise be intimidated or overshadowed by others. It is also recognised that those of lesser experience may withdraw and respectfully defer to senior employees on the (at times, erroneous) assumption that the latter has a greater depth and breadth of knowledge about a topic.

The template used was developed by UK organisation National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA). Two of the facilitators had undertaken the States of Change curriculum that was developed and facilitated by NESTA in 2018 and they were able to provide guidance and instruction, keep the flow of conversation, and help with the theming of ideas.

The two-hour Think Tank was divided into two parts:

(i.) 1 hour – summarising problems and issues, using mind-mapping and sticky- notes.

This session focused on the drivers of the problem, commonly an under-utilised method in policing organisations where employees often and understandably, tend straight toward solution-mode. Instead, the participants were asked to determine four themes, and any identified sub-issues. The group then had to rate the themes from one to four in terms of priority, concern, or risk to the organisation, noting the reasons and contributing factors.

(ii.) 1 hour – brainstorming solutions, pooled, themed, and detailed on a central whiteboard.

The second half of the Think Tank focused on the solutions to the problem highlighted in the first half. For each problem presented, representatives were asked the key questions of - What have you tried? Has it worked? Not worked? What would you like to try? What barriers exist that are stopping you doing it?

Policing Research and Reviews Division has found this method of facilitation is inclusive, fast tracks the thinking, and ensures people are prepared and confident to share their views. Trained facilitators move around the room, drawing out conversation at each table. The mind-mapping tool guides the thinking, ensuring discussions stay on track and prompting people to consider the problem from an inherently different and specific perspective. It ensures diversity of thought, enables, and empower input from all areas and attendees, and promotes equal consideration and acceptance of ideas.

KEY SUCCESS FACTOR # 4: Deidentification of the voice speaking, led to people freely speaking up, and all voices being heard.


The Think Tank examined barriers to the enforcement of knife-related offending, and generated ideas for solutions, including Stakeholder Collaboration to target harden and/or regulate knife sales, similar to arrangements in place for graffiti spray cans.

• A public anti-violence campaign with influential role models promoting anti-violence messages.

• Expanded use of existing legislative and policy provisions including metal detector wands and searching.



• Participants were provided with credible contemporary information regarding the extent and complexity of an issue, with ideas to take back and contextualise to their own workplace.

• An Anti- Knife Crime Think Tank Summary Report was presented to key stakeholders, including Crime Command, who were able to use the information to readily generate actions to disrupt drivers and enablers of crime.

• Suggestions specific to the Policy and Legislation Division was used to inform a briefing paper submitted to Executive Command in May 2023. The briefing paper analyses current legislative and policy tools, explores avenues for legislative change and seeks advice on legislative reform.

• The Think Tank increased intelligence holdings regarding the current state of knife crime, and explored available and potential levers of legislation and policy to combat knife crime

• The Think Tank generated new ways of thinking for participants who can apply the same methodology to a range of policing challenges. It introduced new stakeholders and new stakeholder relationships and provided pathways to direct and inform further work and research priorities.


Collaboration with key stakeholders is a vital strategy to reduce the harm caused by knife crime, or any other complex social problem. Strategies to reduce crime must be underpinned by an understanding that policing approaches alone will have a limited impact, and enforcement tactics used in isolation may damage the police relationships and

reputation. It reinforces the need to incorporate a wider range of solutions and services.

The use of a Think Tank exercise, as utilised successfully by the Victoria Police Policing Research and Reviews Division, can help to provide connection amongst stakeholders to explore innovative approaches, and provide options and solutions to address complex policing challenges.

The result from one of the working groups
Victoria Policing Research and Reviews Division staff - Kate McDonald, Vanessa Henderson, Ally Howard

Women in Leadership at the New South Wales State Emergency Service

After more than 30 years in policing, I recently took up a position as Deputy Commissioner Operations with the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES).

Pretty much straight off the bat I went on a road trip visiting units around the state. On the road, I was struck by the number of women in leadership positions within the NSW SES. In fact, more than half of NSW SES senior managers, 54 percent last year, are women. And now that I’ve joined, that figure is probably a little higher.

According to the most recent report on diversity within emergency services, the Champions of Change Fire and Emergency 2022 Progress Report, the NSW SES leads 24 other agencies when it comes to women’s representation in senior management. Of course, there’s still a way to go- only 36 percent of NSW SES employees are female. But within the NSW SES, female leadership is normal, expected and unremarkable. To give you an example, on a recent road trip I visited the Tamworth SES Unit. Right from a local level, all the way through to the very top of our organisation, women play key leadership roles.

Until recently, more than half the Tamworth unit were women, and the Unit’s Commander and one of its Deputy Commanders are women.

Yvonne Cini is the Tamworth Unit’s Deputy Commander. She’s been with the Unit for 19 years. She said in her early years, the unit was overwhelmingly male. “Some of the older men didn’t exactly disregard the women, but they just didn’t seem to think the women could cope,” she said. But Yvonne persevered, and was mentored by her current Local Commander, Vicki Blinman. “Vicki just made sure everyone had everything they needed, and it just made me feel

right at home. Vicki is one of the main reasons I stayed all those years ago,” said Yvonne Cini.

Vicki and Yvonne’s new Zone Commander is Tammy Shepley. Until recently, Tammy was a Naval Officer, serving as an Executive Officer (2nd in command) on Patrol Boats out of Darwin, and instructed Junior Officers in Leadership and Navigation. Tammy said one of the reasons she moved to the NSW SES was to continue an operational

Commissioner Carlene York APM
Deputy Commissioner Debbie Platz

focus, while still caring for her family. “When in operations in the Navy, you’re not at home, you’re not necessarily being able to be mum all the time. It’s a challenge. I stopped going to sea, because I wanted to be with my kids,” she said.

Zone Commander Shepley said seeing so many female Zone Commanders at the SES balancing family and command gave her the confidence to take the position within the SES. “A number of women have managed to make it up through ranks in the SES to get to Zone Commander,” she said. “Some are still raising kids, and one of them even has grandkids. That in itself is impressive. Because you need to really balance the commitments.”

Tammy also said such a high level of female participation in her Zone sends a strong message to her community. “We should reflect our community and I think that’s what our units do, having that really good split of male and female throughout the Zone shows that we don’t judge anybody based on gender. We actually judge it based on ability.”

Commissioner Carlene York APM leads the NSW SES. Prior to joining the service, she was with the NSW Police for 39 years, was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2014 and led the strike force that captured notorious criminal and fugitive Malcom Naden in 2012. She is keenly aware of the value in providing an example of strong female leadership within the NSW SES. “I think role modeling is really important,” she said. “So for me, a female Commissioner, leading an emergency service organisation, which is the first of its kind in NSW policing and emergency services, I think it gives the confidence to women that they can achieve what they want to do,” she said. One of the messages the Commissioner emphasises is “You can have everything but not at the same time.” “It’s about your priorities at the time. Is it family? Is it supporting grandparents? Is it traveling, having children? Every individual has their own journey,” she said. “But I think having role models, not only at the commissioner’s level, but through all levels of the organisation shows that you can achieve what you

want to achieve in the area that you are really interested in.”

But Commissioner York cautions that when it comes to female recruiting, it’s hard to be first, and it’s hard to be the only woman in traditionally male roles. “I saw females going into the tactical areas of police, for example. And it’s really difficult if you want to be one of 30 resources where 29 are male,” she said. “You need the support of your own network. You don’t want to stand out as the first female there. And so it’s really important that there is a mentoring support network around those who want to get into those particular jobs that might be seen historically as male oriented.”

The Commissioner hopes the success in recruiting female leadership to the NSW SES fosters an organization where selection is on merit, not historical gender roles. “It’s about women’s confidence to actually enter into the process to be selected. Women can do anything that they want to do and should feel confident to come forward and apply for it,” she said. “I’m very proud of the fact that we’re leading the pack.”

Zone Commander Tammy Shepley
Deputy Unit Commander Yvonne Cini

Vanuatu Police Force Detective Training Program

After a request from the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) in 2022, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) Detective Training Program (DTP) curriculum was shared with the VPF.

This Program was developed for the Pacific, having been rolled out in Papua New Guinea in 2018 with the assistance from Australian Federal Police Advisors.

Between 17 April and 26 May 2023, the very first DTP was delivered for the VPF in Port Vila, Vanuatu, there had been nothing else like this program in the history of the VPF. RPNGC Inspector Fiona Kakarere who is in charge of the Detective Training School at the RPNGC Bomana National Centre of Excellence was invited by the VPF Executive and Vanuatu Australia Police and Justice Program (VAPJP) Advisor Detective Superintendent Melissa Northam and CID Advisor Andre Nant to supervise and assist in the delivery of the program. Inspector Kakarere is a highly regarded investigator, leader, and trainer. She was selected due to her depth of knowledge of the program, her investigations skills, operational experience, and her tenure as Officer in Charge of the Detective Training School. Inspector Kakarere was supported by Advisors Shauna Rule and Brad McEwan from the Papua New Guinea Australia Policing Partnership.

The intensive six-week program was held at the VPF Academy and included the Pacific Investigative Interviewing Program (PIIP), followed by 5 weeks of specialised Detective Training. The program enhanced the participants’

knowledge on current Vanuatu Legislation, VPF investigative policies, procedures, and practices, along with providing comprehensive training on various aspects of investigations management. Twelve members of

VPF Detective Training Program 1/2023 participants and PNG-APP Advisor Brad McEwan, VAPJP Advisors Andre Nant and John Connoley
Inspector Kakerere with female participants and one female trainer

the VPF completed this program, 5 females and 7 males. The program required full participation by the participants, there were exams to pass, and scenarios were assessed. Constable Junior Robert Bule was awarded the Dux of DTP 1/2023 certificate. Corporal Atilin Rantes was awarded the course facilitator’s award for her commitment, dedication, and support to the other participants on the DTP 1/2023. The participants were provided with key skills and knowledge to carry out their investigations and to also share their learnings with the greater VPF cohort.

Inspector Kakarere represented the RPNGC with distinction and provided significant input to the program by conducting the PIIP and then she took the lead in running the program scenarios and assessments. She was well received and respected by the participants, VPF Executive and College staff during her time there. Due to the success of this program, it is hoped that another DTP will be run in Vanuatu in 2024.

RPNGC Inspector Fiona Kakarere and VPF Corporal Atilin Rantes who was awarded the course Facilitator’s Award
Inspector Fiona Kakarere assessing a DTP participant during a practical exercise

Fingerprint Operations in Cambodia

Fingerprint Operations Branch led a delegation of New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) staff to the Cambodian Police Academy in late 2022 which included Senior Constable Amanda George, Constable Clare Leone and Crime Scene Officer Sera Tascioglu.

The trip was an opportunity for NSWPF staff to deliver two days of foundational training and development in fingerprint crime scene examination and digital technology.

Fingerprint Expert, Detective Constable Josh Thompson said there is a growing demand for fingerprint technology in Cambodia.

“Fingerprint examination is a high growth discipline for Cambodian Police. Our knowledge and expertise weren’t just imparted for senior police but also for several senior members of the Cambodian Police leadership team.”

“The NSWPF delegation was able to train them on multiple aspects of fingerprint technology including fingerprint examination methodology, and the use of digital photography for crime scene examination and evidence preservation.”

However, while expanding understanding about inter-agency differences between Cambodia and the NSWPF was a highlight for all participants, the team was amazed by the warm reception of women

in policing that was exhibited within the delegation.

“Not only was it a notable inspiration to see three women (of five NSWPF Fingerprint Operations Branch (FOB) delegates) in a highly specialised

policing role, but the knowledge that civilian personnel were also highly regarded and equally respected with their sworn peers in this space was met with an ovation in itself,” Det Cst Thompson said.


“While the delegation had initially travelled with an expectation to showcase NSWPF skills and experience, it was even more humbling to be able to showcase such a positive and equality-based organisation to an international peer.”

During the first day, the delegation was shown the expansive Academy grounds, live demonstration of officer safety/deftac practices and introduced to the Academy President alongside several other Major Generals of the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior.

Once the training began, over 80 Cambodian Police Academy personnel were shown modern fingerprint comparison software, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

capabilities and digital fingerprint photography basics.

“We received so much enthusiasm and interest from the participants that a second day was required.”

The second day saw over 150 students interested in modern NSWPF forensic science attend to learn about more complex applications of digital photography, including reciprocity, depth of field, lenses and flash/light use.

In the morning session, FOB staff provided a hands-on practical demonstration to students in the development of fingerprint evidence and how to capture using dSLR cameras for further examination.

In the final session of the day our fingerprint experts conducted a live fingerprint identification in real-time using the same prints developed earlier in the day.

“The Cambodian senior leadership showed great interest in this and kept the experts on their toes with very complex questions on the methodology and results. The two-day program turned out to be a great success.”

The New South Wales Police delegation included:

Det Sgt Luc Nguyen (who facilitated the trip),

Fingerprint experts Det A/Sgt Chanpisal Kong and Det Cst Joshua Thompson, Senior fingerprint technicians Snr Cst Amanda George and Cst Clare Leone, Crime Scene Officer Sera Tascioglu, and Forensic Comparison Software Chief Executive Officer John Moloney who joined as an external delegate in fingerprint comparison software.

Police Matron Turns 99

In the 1970s and 80s, police matrons were employed by the NSW Police to provide care and assistance to female prisoners housed in the cells in the Central Police Station.

At the time five matrons were rostered to provide 24/7 care, which included securing and releasing, as well as the distribution of female prisoners to the court and prison systems. Matrons were also responsible for monitoring the prisoners ongoing health and well-being, together with the serving their meals.

One of those matrons was my Mum Edna Herring, who began her service as administrative assistant in the busy charge room at Central. She later moved into the matron role, where she remained until the position was disbanded in the early 80’s, and matrons again were returned to the charge room, following the opening of Surry Hills Police Centre.

My Mum says it was quite a cultural shock for her when she began the job as a matron at Central.

“Having come from a relatively sheltered background rural background, I was largely unaware of the issues and challenges – particularly those surrounding female prisoners. This included chronic drug and alcohol

addiction as well as homelessness, and the associated violence this created within some of them. I had to learn very quickly.

“During that time, Central was the main receiving facility for most major crime in the metropolitan area, including reception of female prisoners. It was a very hectic and busy place at times, especially on night shift during weekends. There were people coming and going most of the time.”

For Mum they were certainly testing times at Central, but her period as a matron was also memorable for many more good reasons.

“We had a wonderful comradery amongst both male and female staff in the station. Everyone looked out for one another, and although difficult at times, I never felt unsafe. There were also certainly lots of fun times, and plenty of real characters at Central, all of which provided welcome relief to the pressures of work.”

Mum – who turns 99 in May 2023, currently resides in a retirement facility near Port Macquarie in NSW. She says

she is hopeful of making the magic century benchmark and receiving her royal letter acknowledging that significant milestone.

Edna in uniform in the Matron’s Office at Central wearing Richard Hadley’s NZ cricket cap, which was owned by one of the Sgt’s at the time. She was and still is an ardent fan of cricket

Grand Prix of the Seas

Sergeant Anna Partridge is the officer in charge of the Lyttelton Police Station in Canterbury, New Zealand. Lyttelton is a sea port with a usual population of around 3000. But when SailGP came to town this population increased to more than 7000 people who lined the water’s edge to catch the action, 150 private boats were anchored on the outskirts of the course and more than 50 million people around the world tuned in on their TVs.

Even if sailing’s not your thing, it’s easy to see why there was so much interest. Nine rival nations compete in a series of events at picturesque locations around the world for a US$1m prize at the end. The series is contested in F50 foiling catamarans, similar to the 2017 America’s Cup boats. What makes SailGP different is its one-design fleet, meaning

each boat is the same, so performance rests solely in the hands of the operators. With nine boats competing at the same time at speeds of up to 90km/h, the racing is intense and unpredictable so it’s not surprising that it draws a large crowd.

This was the first time New Zealand has hosted a SailGP event. With such a large global audience, multiple sites on land and on water and significant geographical challenges, it was also a first for Canterbury Police District. Anna performed the role of On-Land Forward Commander and says “It was a good crowd. Most people were there for the racing and took it seriously. There were some there just for a good time – but there was no trouble. We had great support from the control centres, Intel and logistics, and the teams on the

ground all worked really well together –that’s what made it such a great event.”

Planning started eight months out from race day and included the use of Maritime Units from Auckland and Wellington teams. Throughout the course of the weekend, for the first time in Christchurch, Police had eyes on sea, on land and in the air.

There was a graduated response to on-water incidents during the event –Course Marshals first, Harbourmaster second, Police third. As it turned out there were no major incidents, although there was an arrest made. On-Water Forward Commander, Senior Sergeant Garry Larsen explains: “Someone on board Lady Liz spotted a person halfway across the harbour on his paddleboard. We suspected he was trying to disrupt the racing. He resisted arrest initially, but

When SailGP came to Lyttelton Harbour in New Zealand it was fast, furious and above all, fun.
Regular check-ins with the police team on the ground ensured smooth sailing on land and on water

quickly realised he couldn’t out-paddle the Maritime Police staff aboard the Lady Liz tender.”

For context, the race course was in Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour, about a 20-minute drive over the hill or through the tunnel from central Christchurch. Because of the location, there were multiple sites involved, which meant planning and logistics for the on-land components were complex. There were two control centres – the on-site SailGP Event Control Room which included a Police presence, and the Police Emergency Operations Centre at Te Omeka in the city.

For spectators, the 7000 ticketholders each day met at a fan zone site in the city where they caught buses to the event (50 buses, one departing every five minutes), while those without tickets could stay at the fan zone and watch it on the big screen. Lyttelton is set in a natural volcanic amphitheatre, so even more spectators gathered at vantage points around the harbour to catch the action.

For safety reasons there was a no-fly zone over the course, except for the broadcasting helicopter, but there were still plenty of people trying to get a bird’s

eye view. Although there were no Police helicopter, Police still had a presence in the skies, employing remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS or drones)

Operation Commander,

Superintendent Lane Todd, said he was proud of how the event went and of all the teams involved. “Some aspects of the event were new territory for us, but we gathered everyone we needed to around and we leaned on each other.

As an organisation we’re well-drilled for events like this – whether it’s a planned major event or an unplanned natural disaster, everyone just comes together and it’s seamless. Our partner agencies played a big part as well and was another example of collaboration at its best. SailGP management expressed their gratitude and made particular mention of how impressed they were with the engagement from Police.”

Anna and the Lyttelton team enjoyed a spin the Police 3 RHIB in the lead up to the event - not everyone made it back dry!
On-land Forward Controller Sergeant Anna Partridge and relieving Canterbury District Commander Karyn Malthus couldn’t resist a selfie in front of the Team NZ boat

2022/2023 ACWAP Committee


Debbie Platz - QLD PRESIDENT

Sandra Venables - NZ VICE PRESIDENT

Kylie Flower - ACT SECRETARY


Andrea Quinn - AFP - ACT TREASURER

Committee Members

Natalie Bennett - QLD

Julie Carter - VIC

Kate Chambers – Tas

Rashelle Conroy - NSW

Beck Givney - AFP

Briony Jones - Vic

Jodie Di Lallo - WA


Dorothy McPhail - NZ



Joanne Howard - SA



Jayne Doherty - NSW

Daniel Evans - AFP - Samoa

Katerina Francis - QLD

Chloe Kopilovic - QLD

Amanda McCormick - NSW

Gerry McKenna - VIC

Carmel Morgan - WA

Michael Newman - QLD

Zoe Richardson - ABF

Mary (MJ) Riddle - NZ

Wendy Spiller - NZ

Maha Sukkar - VIC

Janelle Tonkin – NT

Adelle Williams - NZ




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