Celebrating diversity during Pride Month
CREATED ON // Friday, 13 June 2014 Written by // Tony Crandell
June is Pride month all over the world. We are asked to remember the history of the Stonewall Riots in New York, how far we have all come since 1978 and the first Mardi Gras in Sydney. This year, I feel strongly that there is a lot to be proud of.
Police officers across the state come from all walks of life and we actively encourage and recruit diversity into our workforce. We are proud of our diversity and our efforts to effectively engage with the range of communities and cultures within our local areas.
I am looking forward to supporting and leading a host of Pride in Diversity activities and projects internally to help us become a more inclusive employer, where all of our staff feel supported and comfortable. As a result of these activities, I hope we will recruit many more GLBTI allies in the coming months who will work with our Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLO) to champion equity and fairness.
In a few weeks time I will be travelling to our Academy again in Goulburn to address around 200 new recruits on the topic of diversity. I will be introducing them to our policies and programs supporting GLBTI issues and I hope to introduce them personally to some of our new Region Sponsors. I want them to know that the NSW Police Force supports GLBTI issues across the state – not just in inner city Sydney. I am keen for them to feel proud to be part of an inclusive and fair organisation, supportive of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
Our GLLOs have many things to be proud of – their achievements over the last (almost) 25 years is just the beginning. We have grown from a small team of four inner city GLLOs to over 150 across the state.
Our GLLOs are now also responsible for bisexual, transgender and intersex issues and they work with other specialist officers to assist young people and victims of domestic violence, as well as carrying their brief to maintain contact with GLBTI community groups. They do all of this in addition to their policing duties and for this, they should feel proud. But they should also feel proud to be police officers and the oath they have sworn to keep the peace – to keep us all safe from harm – is vitally important.
Some of our officers also identify as gay or lesbian– my hope is that they also feel proud to be a gay or lesbian police officer or that if they are transgender, intersex or identify as ‘queer’, or are currently questioning their identity, that they feel supported by their workplace and proud to be who they are.
For the women in our organisation, there are plans in process to celebrate 100 years of women in policing next year. This is an incredible achievement and the organisation is a far better one as a result of the efforts of women.
So there is indeed a lot to be proud of in June, and in every other month, but I wish you all an enjoyable and productive Pride month. Please join the City of Sydney and Surry Hills police on Saturday 28th June to celebrate Pride week at a community BBQ in Harmony Park – all welcome, starts at 12 noon.