This week the NSW Police Force and TAFE NSW launched the state-wide roll out of the IPROWD program to support Aboriginal people wishing to become police officers.
The program, known as the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) has been designed to assist Aboriginal people gain entry to the NSW Police College at Goulburn.
The once Dubbo-based program has received $2.1million of financial support from the Australian Government to be rolled out to 13 locations across the state.
In 2011 it is expected 180 Aboriginal people will participate in the training at the nominated IPROWD training locations: Casino, Maitland, Kempsey, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Mt Druitt, Dubbo, Redfern, Nowra, Wagga Wagga, Broken Hill, Orange and Tamworth.
Commissioner Scipione said this program has been a successful way to recruit and train more indigenous Australians to become police officers.
"The innovative program illustrates the police commitment to increasing Aboriginal representation within our workforce," Commissioner Scipione said.
"I encourage all Aboriginal community members with an interest in policing to take the first step and join an IPROWD program.
"Applicants will be provided with the support, guidance and dedicated teaching staff to help them achieve their goal."
"IPROWD has exceeded all expectations in Dubbo and Tamworth to date.
"Of the original intake of thirteen students in 2008: we have seen four attest as probationary police officers; one become an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer; and another become a police administrative support officer," Mr Scipione said.
"NSW Police Force should be a true reflection of the community we represent and we want more Aboriginal recruits, particularly in rural and regional areas," Mr Scipione said.
The full-time 18 week program prepares students for entry to the NSW Police College at Goulburn.
Graduating IPROWD students complete a curriculum recommended by Charles Sturt University including communication, information technology, writing and presentation skills, workplace ethics and responsibilities, Aboriginal studies, fitness, first aid and individual learning support. Upon completion students receive a Certificate III in Vocation and Study Pathways.
NSW Police Officers will be actively involved with each IPROWD group by providing specialised training and mentoring throughout the course. Participants are also provided with assistance to prepare their applications for the NSW Police College, after having visited the college as part of the 18 week program.
"This program is a tribute to the students, it's a tribute to TAFE - in particular the Western Institute of TAFE who initiated it - and it's a tribute to the skills and commitment of TAFE teachers who make it possible for people to have a second chance at the career of their dreams," said Michael Coutts-Trotter, Director General of Education and Training and Managing Director of TAFE NSW.
"IPROWD is not an easier or softer way into the Police College, this is the hard road, so you know that people who get through the course have shown extraordinary commitment to their studies and to becoming police officers."
Applications for the first semester intake will close on 19 November 2010. Training will commence on 14 February 2011.
Information about the course can be downloaded from the IPROWD web site - www.iprowd.tafensw.edu.au, or accessed by phoning 1300 830 177.