THE old adage of “the boys in blue” is changing with more young women putting their hand up for a career in the NSW Police.
The Aboriginal pathway course IPROWD (Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery) saw 12 more students get one step closer to a career with the force, with a ceremony in Tamworth recently.
The latest Indigenous cohort out of Tamworth was comprised 75 per cent by women, a figure surprising to local police and students.
Proud Wiradjuri woman and recent IPROWD graduate Cherylleigh Partridge, 23, grew up in Glen Innes and has had her heart set on policing from a young age.
“I am a helper,” Ms Partridge told The Leader.
“I like to help people in any way shape or form. That’s what makes me happy.
“Policing is challenging and helpful, I guess it just ticks all of the boxes.”
The big female majority in the course wasn’t lost on Ms Partridge and her fellow students, who asked themselves “where are all of the boys” when they started.
“This is the biggest female-majority IPROWD group ever,” she said.
The aspiring policewoman hoped to set a example for Aboriginal women in the community.
“Given the current climate of our youth caught up in the justice system, it’s important we set a good example,” she said.
“We give them someone to look at and go ‘I could do that’.”
Oxley command Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd has nearly 30 years’ experience in the force and said he had seen a lot more women attracted to a career with NSW Police.
“We certainly hope to recruit more females in the NSW Police, that’s important,” he said.
“In the last decade, the number of women seeking a career in police has certainly increased and that’s fantastic because they bring diversity to our workplace.”
Acting Superintendent Budd said Aboriginal women had an important role to play in the community and police force.
“In most communities, Aboriginal women are the stronger ones, they are the ones that set the pace for families and these ladies will set the pace for the community in the future,” he said.