Policing is teen’s way to give back
Being a police officer is a tough gig, but for a young Geraldton woman, it’s a chance to give back to the community while avoiding the standard nine to five working life.
Seventeen-year-old Kalicia Oakley is one of 28 indigenous trainees embarking on a new WA Police Aboriginal Cadet Program.
While she was initially apprehensive about joining the program, Kalicia said her passion for the police service has grown since she started seven weeks ago.
“At first, I was so scared coming into the station, dealing with people and talking on the phone, wondering how these people were going to treat me,” she said.
“I was kind of like, ‘why am I doing this?’ but then once I started, it’s like growing a little passion because it’s so different to a normal job ... I love it.”
Based at Cannington Police Station in Perth, Kalicia said although she missed her mum and brothers, they were very proud of her.
“I just want to be a role model for my little brother,” she said.
When it comes to the perception of Aboriginal people in the police service, Kalicia said there was still a long way to go.
“I don’t want people to feel like us doing, some people would say, the white man job,” she said. “I just want it to be like ‘this is my job and this is what I’m going to do for you’.
“There’s been a big line between the white people and the black people, I just want to break that.”
With goals to hit the road as a constable when she finishes, Kalicia wants young indigenous people to never back down from going after what they want in life.
“If you want to get somewhere in life, you better get up and do it now,” she said. “Keep your head up ... and always put your heart into everything you do.”