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New initiative to help increase number of Africa-Australians in Victoria Police

A new joint program between Jesuit Social Services and Victoria Police is helping African-Australians succeed in their aspirations to become police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) in Victoria.

Victoria Police Community Engagement Inspector Stephen Mutton said the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program aims to boost the organisation’s police and PSOs from African communities: “In order to effectively meet the community needs, it’s important that police members and PSOs are drawn from broad and diverse communities,” Inspector Mutton said.

“We’re proud of our vibrant, diverse, multi-faith and multicultural community, and this program ensures our next generation of police officers will continue to reflect the community we serve. We want quality applicants who are capable of doing the job. We’re excited to partner with Jesuit Social Services who will help identify these applicants as well as provide them with support so they can succeed in their application.”

The 15-week course is being offered by Victoria University Polytechnic and helps eligible applicants build their skills prior to applying to join Victoria Police. The course offers support specifically designed to mirror Victoria Police’s rigorous recruitment process, including numeracy, literacy skills-building and swimming lessons.

While graduates of the course are not guaranteed a place at the Police Academy, it is hoped that they will be well equipped to successfully apply.
The program will run over two years and its success will be evaluated to determine if it will continue or be expanded to other cultural communities.

Inspector Mutton said he is looking forward to seeing the applicants’ progress through the course: “I wish all the applicants the best of luck as they navigate through the course and through the recruitment process. If successful, they will play an important role to help keep people safe in a way that is informed, relevant and respectful.”

The program was developed by Victoria Police, Jesuit Social Services, Jobs Victoria, the African-Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Service, Victoria University Polytechnic, AMES Australia, Matchworks and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

For more information and to register an expression of interest to participate in the next program, please contact Jesuit Social Services.

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