NAIDOC car and uni­forms help po­lice pay trib­ute

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Pil­bara po­lice will pay trib­ute to the cul­ture and achieve­ments of in­dige­nous Aus­tralians this NAIDOC Week by wear­ing cus­tom­made uni­forms and driv­ing a car dis­play­ing Abo­rig­i­nal art.

The car and uni­forms, which fea­ture art by New­man’s Cyril Why­oul­ter, ar­rived in Kar­ratha last week and are part of a first­time project be­tween WA Po­lice and the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs.

Officers at Pil­bara sub-district sta­tions will wear the uni­forms through­out NAIDOC Week, which starts on July 2, and be­yond, with a plan to use them at var­i­ous events.

Pil­bara District Po­lice In­spec­tor Louise Ball said she was proud to be part of a project that pro­moted a strong, pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship be­tween po­lice and mem­bers of the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

“I think this is an amaz­ing project,” she said. “The aim is to help strengthen the re­la­tion­ship be­tween WA Po­lice and the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity by show­ing re­spect and ac­knowl­edg­ing the his­tory, cul­ture and achieve­ments of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple.”

The car will be used by South Hed­land Po­lice Sta­tion’s com­mu­nity re­la­tions officers dur­ing NAIDOC Week in a sign of sol­i­dar­ity with the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

Why­oul­ter’s de­sign, cho­sen through a com­pe­ti­tion, sym­bol­ises a melon which mem­bers of his fam­ily, who live no­mad­i­cally in the Western Desert, used to share at a camp called Karam­i­lyi.

“My mum’s fa­ther came from Kir­ri­wirri in the north. I can paint that way too,” he said.

“I like paint­ing, it’s a good way to learn from old peo­ple, to keep the sto­ries go­ing.”

Kar­ratha po­lice of­fi­cer-in­charge Se­nior Sergeant Andy Stevens said some of his best ex­pe­ri­ences as a po­lice of­fi­cer had been work­ing with mem­bers of in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

He said the NAIDOC Week project was a sin­cere ges­ture of the re­spect po­lice officers had for in­dige­nous res­i­dents.

NAIDOC Week runs from July 2-9 and all Pil­bara sub-district sta­tions will hold their own events to cel­e­brate as well as at­tend­ing com­mu­nity events. The NAIDOC po­lice project is ex­pected to be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion.

Kar­ratha po­lice’s Sergeant John Hart and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Gerry Pilk­ing­ton, Pil­bara District Po­lice In­spec­tor Louise Ball and Kar­ratha po­lice of­fi­cer-in-charge Se­nior Sergeant Andy Stevens with the NAIDOC car.

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