By Lucas Da Paz
The two men and two women were part of the program’s inaugural intake and were among 41 graduating officers cheered on by family and friends during a ceremonial march-past parade at the Western Australia Police Force Academy in Joondalup.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts spoke of her delight to welcome the new recruits and said that today represented a beginning for a new and exciting career for the new officers.
“Increased representation of Aboriginal people in the WA Police Force is something I know Commissioner Dawson is committed to, and something we as a Government whole-heartedly support,” Mrs Roberts said.
“ It is important WA Police continually strive to have a diverse and culturally rich workforce, to ensure it reflects the community it serve.”
The Aboriginal Cadet Program is a partnership between the WA Police Force and North Metropolitan TAFE, and is open to applicants from 17-25 years of age.
The cadetship has been designed to create a more accessible pathway for young Aboriginal people who wish to become police officers, and to increase Aboriginal representation in the Force.
“All of our new recruits have shown enormous determination and professionalism, and the Government thanks you for the positive difference you will be making to communities throughout Western Australia,” Mrs Roberts said.
Cadets receive on-the-job training within police stations, while attending formal class-based training with North Metropolitan TAFE to achieve a Certificate II in General Adult Education.
They will then go on to complete the 28- week intensive training course to become fully sworn officers.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said that the program is the first of its kind in WA for police and said that the graduation today was proof of its success.
“The Cadets have been supported by North Metropolitan TAFE’s Koolark Centre for Aboriginal Students which has provided advice, and academic and cultural mentors throughout their study,” Ms Ellery said.
“Graduates will now be deployed to regional and metropolitan police stations to start their police career.”
“The cadets graduating today should be really proud of their achievements and excited for their careers they have ahead of them- no doubt they will inspire others to pursue a great career in the Police Force,” she said.
They are currently 12 participants in the Aboriginal Cadet Program, with a recruitment process underway to identify further potential applicants.