Thirteen young Aboriginal men and women were welcomed on a path that could lead them to a police career after graduating from the fifth Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program.
IPROWD is run state-wide and equips participants with the qualifications and skills required to apply for the NSW Police Force.
Among this year’s recruits was a well known local face of fashion, Ashley Quinn (nee Cheadle).
“I decided to do IPROWD because I found with modelling and acting I never knew when I was going to get more work,” she said.
“I have a three-year-old son now and I wanted something more stable.
“IPROWD offers a path that opens up more options.”
During the graduation Mrs Quinn said the program was one of the best things she had ever done.
“Even if you don’t enter the police force after the course participants learn so much about themselves and about dealing with other people,” she said.
Shantelle Locke from Nowra said her self-confidence was boosted through the course.
“I could never have done public speaking before this. I was so shy when I started IPROWD.
“I will be applying to enter the police force after this,” she said.
Fellow graduate Greg Seymour started working toward his IPROWD graduation in year 11 and 12 under TAFE delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“My cousin did IPROWD and he told me all about it. I looked up to him so I wanted to do it too,” he said.
“I made a lot of friends doing this and gained more maturity.
“The police who trained us were fantastic. I’m going to prepare my application for the dog squad as soon as I can,” he said.
NSW Police Acting commissioner Nick Kaldas attended the graduation.
He said the program was an “incredible success story attracting Aboriginal youth to the police”.
“It has helped us build bridges in many ways in the community,” he said.