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Indigenous Australia AFP recruitment strategy.



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FEDERAL LABOR LEADER KEVIN RUDD MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOMELAND SECURITY ARCH BEVIS MP AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND

RECONCILIATION JENNY MACKLIN

INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA AFP RECRUITMENT STRATEGY

A Rudd Labor Government will increase the number of Indigenous Australians into the ranks of the Australian Federal Police - as a part of a $200 million Australian Federal Policing Plan.

The plan will target potential Aboriginal officers with specialist language skills. Today, we see reports of Aboriginal women and children in the Northern Territory running into the bush and hills because they do not understand the AFP and military presence.

The women and children are the very people we want to protect; we can’t have them running away.

The Malunggang Indigenous Officers Network, (MION), is a voluntary internal AFP network which fosters and supports the recruitment, retention and career development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. MION was created in 1995 and has grown to a current membership of 45 officers representing officers from the:

Arrernte; Larrakia; Wakka Wakka; Batjala; Meriam le; Wiradjuri; Bundjalong Munanjali; Willi Willi; Gugu-Yalangi; Ngunnawal; Wodi Wodi; Kamilaroi; Waanji; and Wuthathi.

The AFP has begun to recognise the importance of recruiting Indigenous officers; however, the 2004-2007 pilot program recruited three Indigenous trainees.

Federal Labor will reduce the AFP’s reliance on seconding officers from the State police forces and better resource it for challenges such as child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and counter terrorism efforts in South East Asia.

The Police Federation of Australia states that the number of sworn Federal Police officers has fallen from 2,838 to 2,396 over the past 21 years.

The PFA says that this represents a decrease in sworn Federal Police officers of 16 per cent over that period.

Federal Labor is committed to boosting the ranks of Federal Police officers by 500 over and above the AFP’s current recruitment targets over the next five years.

As a part of this $200 million AFP Enhancement Plan, Federal Labor will implement an Indigenous Australia AFP Recruitment Strategy, designed to bring more Indigenous Australians into the ranks of the Federal Police.

Federal Labor’s Indigenous Australia AFP Recruitment Strategy includes:

• Expanding Indigenous recruitment programs to recruit more Indigenous Australians trainees into the AFP; • Significantly boosting the resources of the Darwin office of the AFP in light of the current focus on the Northern Territory; • Education programs on policing in Indigenous communities; • Promotional activities in Indigenous communities to boost the profile and work

of AFP officers; and • Convening a national forum to coordinate the recruitment of Indigenous Australians into Federal and State police agencies.

Federal Labor has offered in principle bipartisan support for the Federal Government’s moves to address the child sex abuse crisis in the Northern Territory.

The AFP Enhancement Plan and the Indigenous Australia AFP Recruitment Strategy would enable the Federal Government to act on crises such at that in the Northern Territory without having to second police officers from other forces.

BALLARAT 27 JUNE 2007