Heidi - Protective Service Officer

How many years have you worked as a PSO?

I have been a PSO for 2 years.

Why did you first apply to be a PSO?

I applied to be a PSO to challenge myself, learn unique and transferable skills and build a rewarding career within the AFP.

What did you do prior to working for the AFP?

Previously to working for the AFP I was a bartender and waitress at a resort in the Blue Mountains.

Why should more women think about a career in the AFP as a PSO?

The AFP greatly values the presence of women and recognises the benefits of having a diverse workplace. The AFP offers women fulfilling careers in a variety of different roles and encourage women strive to push themselves to their full potential.

How does shift work impact you, and your social life?

In the beginning it took time to adjust to shift work; I had to learn what worked best for me, but after you develop a routine it becomes like second nature.
A major benefit of shift work is the amount days off you receive between blocks of shifts, you will be able to get as sociable or as unsociable as you would like during that time.

Can you describe the job in three words?

Caffeine addicts anonymous

What are some of the challenges of the job?

A challenge some may experience in the PSO role is the ability to stay motivated. The role can be routine; however, complacency must be avoided given the importance of the role.

Did you have any concerns about carrying a firearm?

During recruitment training, and before handling a firearm for the first time, I was nervous- which is completely normal- however, with all the preparation and careful training I received while in the college, and since, has really squashed any concerns I had about carrying the firearm. Now I genuinely enjoy going to a range to requalify with the firearm.

Other than the Station you are attached too, what other exciting opportunities have you undertaken?

Currently, I am a member of the NSW Regional Surge Team, which provides the opportunity to work with different departments in the AFP and be involved with tasks outside the usual Protection Role. There are also opportunities to deploy to various stations and undertake in further training courses, you just have to be proactive in applying and participating.

Take us through an average day on shift?

An average shift will vary depending on your posting- each station is unique and has its own roles and requirements. An average day may consist of patrols, strategic statics, liaising with different agencies, rapid response, diplomatic protection and high dignitary association.

What are some of the highlights of the job?

A major highlight of the job is the opportunity to work in a diverse organisation, the work life balance and the ability learn and experience different roles.
Working within Sydney CBD you get to experience a lively city, explore secret scenic gems and discover a utopia of brunch locations to tantalise your palate.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a potential new recruit?

Enjoy your training- even if it becomes challenging. You will form close friendships and push yourself to a level you may not have thought achievable.

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