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100th anniversary of women serving as police officers in South Australia

Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (11:48): I rise today to speak in support of this motion that we recognise the 100th anniversary of women serving as police officers in the South Australia Police force. 

I know that a lot of the history has been spoken about by members on both sides before me so I will not go into the history of women in the police force, and I know that it can all be obtained online as well.

I would like to take this opportunity as a father of two daughters to commend all the trailblazers and role models who have gone before them in this role. I have a sister-in-law who has been through the academy, my wife was accepted into the academy, but sadly for her she did not pursue that career, and I have a niece who is training at the moment and who is hoping that she will be accepted into the academy.

Again, the people who have gone before have set such a great example for them and I do commend them for that. I also have women friends who are in the force and who have done a marvellous job. I admire one person greatly. After separating from her partner she put herself through the academy. She had five kids and had a lot to juggle. She has four daughters and she is a real asset to those kids and to our community.

As we look back over the history of women in the police force, Kate Cox is a figure in and around the community that I live in and represent who is recognised with a childcare centre in the area named in her honour because of all the great work she did. The thing that is notable about a lot of women in the police force, and that I truly admire—and, arguably, police officers across the board but women in particular—is their ability to do their great work in the police force and then give back to the community in so many other ways, as Kate Cox did way back in the early 1900s.

I would like to mention one other person in my community who has done some marvellous work, very much in the same vein, and she has been absolutely outstanding, and that is Julie Clifton. She was a member of SAPOL and had a career that spanned 14 years. She then went on to become a senior sergeant working across a number of quite difficult policing districts, including Elizabeth; the police communications dispatch, Glenelg, Coober Pedy and Christies Beach; on the front line doing a lot of the more difficult duties along the way. She also worked with youth and was involved with the Blue Light program and juvenile justice, and she did some great work there.

The great thing about it is that that sense of community and giving and the work that she did through the police force has now rolled on to the Bully Zero Australia Foundation that she helps and supports, and does some great work with.

They are just a couple of examples. I know there are many more, but my time here is brief and I want to allow others to speak as well. I applaud all the women in the police force who have gone before and all those who will come after; it is great to have them as role models.

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