Aspiring Indigenous police officers today met with Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Julie Collins, at Sydney’s Redfern Police Station.
The students are part of the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program, a pre-recruitment program that prepares them to study the Associate Degree in Policing Practice at the Goulburn Police Academy.
The NSW Police Force has already welcomed the first wave of Indigenous officers who have graduated from Goulburn Academy as a result of the IPROWD program supported by $2.97 million in Australian Government funding.
Minister Collins congratulated the first 10 IPROWD graduates who have become police officers in the past year.
“The new Indigenous police officers are great role models for the next wave of IPROWD students,” Ms Collins said.
“The new officers have an important role in protecting citizens and will be influential as leaders in their own Indigenous communities and families
“The program has seen the building of extremely valuable relationships and these have helped to bring police and local Indigenous communities together.
“Teachers at TAFE NSW and police officers across the state have worked closely with the students to ensure they enjoy the experience of learning,” Ms Collins said.
A further 10 IPROWD Indigenous graduates are expected to join the serving officers when they graduate from the Police Academy in December 2012. Up to 45 IPROWD graduates are waiting to hear if they have been accepted into the academy for the next intake in January 2013.
So far, 239 students have started the program. The pilot program started with 15 participants in Dubbo and it’s now expanded to seven program intakes in 10 locations across NSW.
“There has been an overwhelming interest among Indigenous job seekers in the program,” Ms Collins said.
“One student, a mother of five, moved towns so she could reap the IPROWD’s training benefits.
“Students can use the program to move into a career in the NSW Police Force or develop their skills to find alternative employment,” Ms Collins said.
“Among the graduates so far, 51 participants have chosen to develop their careers in other areas such as community liaison and a further 15 have opted to continue studying.
“It’s great we’re seeing an 85 per cent success rate with students attaining a Certificate III in Vocation and Study Pathways and passing the 18-week program.
“Other police forces and industries around Australia, and even overseas, are looking at IPROWD as a model to recruit Indigenous people,” Ms Collins said.
IPROWD is a partnership between the Australian Government, NSW Police Force and TAFE NSW.
Federal funding is provided through the Australian Government’s $650 million Indigenous Employment Program.
For more information visit www.deewr.gov.au/IEP