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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Refugee students meet police

Students of Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network’s Building A New Generation program toured the Victoria Police Academy in Melbourne on Monday.

July 4, 2014 5:08am

Learning experience: Young leaders from the Building A New Generation program in Shepparton visited the Police Academy on Monday.


 

 

Project officer Rashidi Sumaili said it was an eye-opening experience for the group of 12 students who were mostly from refugee backgrounds.

‘‘For us to go there it was an opportunity to show there was a big difference between our police and the police they are used to in Africa,’’ he said.

‘‘They felt very happy and excited with the way the police approached them and dealt with them.

‘‘It changed their perceptions, so hopefully these young people and all their families can understand that they can trust the police here.’’

He said the idea came about after a number of the students involved in the program expressed interest in joining the police ranks.

Mr Sumaili said it was encouraging to see students gain the confidence to pose a range of questions to police members.

‘‘It was a great opportunity for them; we need to have more conversations with our local police about how we can continue to engage with police and get more information so the students can learn about how to be part of the police force,’’ he said.

‘‘It gives the students confidence and builds their trust with police.’’

Shepparton police Multicultural Liaison Officer Senior Constable Matt Walker said it was important to attract culturally diverse people to the police force. He said the students posed many questions and made use of the rare opportunity to visit the academy, which is otherwise closed to the public.

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