Tiarne is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin in New South Wales and a participant in the 2019 Directions Program.

What attracted you to apply for the Directions Program?

I have always had a passion for joining the Police force ever since I was a child particularly in the area of Child Protection. I joined the Directions Program, to help change and challenge the misconceptions that people have about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in and out of the AFP. This program helped me to understand how all the different areas within AFP connect to help police for a safer Australia.

I am extremely proud of my culture and identity on behalf of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the goal for my career in the AFP is to go out and make my people and family proud.

How did the AFP and the Directions Program support you?

The Directions Team helps you with all different types of support once you have accepted the position. From helping you to relocate to settling in and making new friends, they are there every step of the way offering support.

During our induction week, we had multiple guest speakers from a broad range of areas within the AFP speak to us about the type of work that they do and how it can assist us in living away from home. We had support and contact points in mental and physical health to sporting opportunities and mentoring from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members who are here to offer support throughout the program- also known as our MION members.

During the week we also worked closely with the Directions cohort and really focused on team building, and how we can use these techniques and resources once we go into our teams in the AFP.

What "Directions" do you see your career going?

I would love to go into anything child related, particularly Child Protection areas. I would really like to go out and make a difference in young people's lives, who are not in a safe home environment. I want to be able to help make a difference, and try my best to influence their lives in a way that they feel safe and protected. I feel that's my calling and passion, the reason I am here in this job, not only to make a change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but to make a change for the children in our world.

I know it wouldn't be easy moving away from home and into a new job but again the support the AFP and the Directions Program offer helps me feel supported throughout the whole process. I would like to go as far as I can within the organisation and help as many people as I can.

How have you found the transition to Canberra?

I have absolutely loved the move, it's been such a great learning experience- difficult at times obviously being away from family, but knowing that my cohort are all in the same boat as me, we all lean on one another and keep in regular contact. The amazing support that we have received blows me away, and it's made the transition really easy and comfortable knowing I have a lot of genuine support ready to jump in when I need it. It's definitely a really positive learning experience especially as I only graduated high school last year; it's been a great start to "adulthood". What I have loved about Canberra is the social life and how kind people are to new faces around town, it's been great and I plan to live here for a while now that I have experienced what it has to offer.

If you are thinking of a career with the AFP and you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, please don't think twice. It's an opportunity you don't want to turn down, each day you learn something new, and are exposed to many different areas in the AFP, it is the best decision I have made.

I really encourage you to apply, be the change you wish to see in the world. You may be the next big thing the AFP needs. I hope to see you around in 2020.

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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