Po­lice mile­stone marked

BA­TON RE­LAY TO CELEBRATE LADIES’ ROLES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

A FEW years af­ter the suf­fragettes suc­cess­fully fought for the right for women to vote in Aus­tralia, the NSW po­lice force ad­ver­tised for two fe­male of­fi­cers.

A cen­tury later there are now more than 7000 po­lice­women across the state, in­clud­ing more than 60 at Mt Druitt.

To mark the 100-year mile­stone a cus­tom-made NSW po­lice ba­ton is mak­ing its way around the state and will ar­rive in Mt Druitt on July 29.

In­spec­tor Donna McCarthy, who joined the po­lice force 29 years ago, said the re­lay was a cel­e­bra­tion of how far women had come since the first were made of­fi­cers in 1915.

“The 1900s was a real era of the suf­fragettes and the push to­wards that sort of equal­ity,” Insp McCarthy said.

“It’s re­ally their ded­i­ca­tion and work that got through that tran­si­tion from a very sig­nif­i­cantly male work­force into what we have to­day.”

Of­fi­cers from Mt Druitt, along with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the com­mu­nity will start the ba­ton re­lay at 10am at Mt Druitt po­lice sta­tion, run along Lux­ford Rd, Aurora Ave, Debrin­cat Ave, and end at Wha­lan Re­serve.

The first fe­male of­fi­cer at Mt Druitt po­lice sta­tion, re- tired De­tec­tive Sergeant Deb­o­rah Swain, will also take part in the re­lay.

There will then be a fes­ti­val at the re­serve with a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties by the po­lice band, high­way pa­trol and the dog unit, as well as a spe­cial visit by a Po­lair he­li­copter.

Insp McCarthy said it was be­cause of the ef­forts of many po­lice­women and -men that hav­ing fe­males in the po­lice force was now the new nor­mal. “It was a no­tice­able thing back then that there were fe­male po­lice of­fi­cers, and now it’s just ac­cepted,” she said.

The ba­ton will make its way to St Marys po­lice sta­tion the next day, be­fore even­tu­ally end­ing up at the Syd­ney Opera House in Septem­ber.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Mt Druitt po­lice­women In­spec­tor Donna McCarthy, Con­sta­ble Emma Roberts, Con­sta­ble Bianca Pea­cock and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Made­line Walsh.

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