Polic­ing is teen’s way to give back

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Do­minique Bayens

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.”

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