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Taking the Initiative has been designed for police around Australia, to help them get to know what other jurisdictions are doing to improve their relationships with Australia's new arrivals.

See: Overview of Taking the Initiative

Case Study

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The WA Police Indigenous and Community Diversity Unit provides support on community diversity and multicultural initiatives to frontline Police.

The unit delivers diversity training to new recruits at the WA Police Academy. It also develops policy on diversity, has developed a culturally inclusive uniform policy, racial vilification policy and physical descriptors for police media.

What are the aims of the project?

The unit aims to enhance the delivery of services to minority and multicultural groups and provide support to multicultural initiatives within the WA Police. It also aims to make sure diversity programs organised by WA Police align with the government’s priorities.

What was involved?

In the development of the unit, consultations were conducted within the WA Police and police academy, the Ethnic Communities Council of Western Australia, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Police Multicultural Advisory Council.

Who participated?

The Unit coordinated the development of Community Diversity Training to the new recruits at the WA Police Academy. The focus on diversity training is an important step towards equipping police officers with the skills to communicate effectively with diverse communities.

The four day training includes a full day of Indigenous awareness training, and three days of workshops on issues such as emerging humanitarian entrant communities, youth and police, policing people who speak other languages and racial vilification.

What were the outcomes?

Outcomes included improved community engagement with the police and improved police services to these communities.

The recruits' feedback has been positive in that they feel equipped to work with people from different backgrounds, and then gaining community confidence.

Community presenters have become partners with the police by providing insight into experiences their members have with police, and how the police can serve them better.

Training material has been uploaded onto the WA Police academy online blackboard to serve as a resource to serving police staff and officers.

The Indigenous and Community Diversity Unit will be an ongoing resource for the WA Police.

Where can I get more information?

Further information on this project is available.

Indigenous and Community Diversity Unit
3rd Floor/WA Police Headquarters
2 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth WA 6004
Telephone: 08 9222 1510
Email: indigenousandcommunitydiversity@police.wa.gov.au


"To achieve a high level of service to all cultural groups the Western Australian Police utilise extensive interpreter services and train our staff to work effectively with different cultural groups."
Karl O'Callaghan, Commissioner of Police, Western Australia

"As we are a multicultural society we strive to recruit suitable members of the community into policing. Over the last couple of years we have been highly successful at this and now have a large number of officers from different cultural backgrounds. This gives us the resources to be able to better meet the needs of the whole community."
Karl O’Callaghan, Commissioner of Police, Western Australia


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photo of Multicultural Liaison Officer Program


In 2000 Victoria Police established ten Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO) positions to actively promote and maintain harmonious relationships between the police and Victoria’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Each of the five police regions was provided with two positions which were filled by sworn officers of the senior constable rank. More recently, the needs of each of the regions have created an opportunity to expand the program, which now boasts a further five sworn officers. These police are performing this role either in a dedicated capacity or as part of a broader community liaison role.

What are the aims of the project?

The program aims to provide a dedicated uniformed position that will provide advice to operational police for better service delivery to the region's multicultural communities.

The MLO's help multicultural communities understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and explain how to access Victoria Police services. They also help develop educational programs on multicultural policing issues.

MLO's consult and liaise with region's multicultural communities and agencies on issues of mutual interest and liaise with other government and non-government service providers at the local level. They also actively promote police recruitment within the communities and participate in many forums relevant to multicultural policing.

What was involved?

Once members were appointed to these positions, the creation of Regional Multicultural Liaison Units became the next step in the evolution of the program.

The Units were then located in areas of greatest need, which was determined by a process of consultation with community, regional command, and through community profiles via the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

What are the outcomes?

The MLOs are now a vital part of the Victoria Police proactive policing program. Their services are called upon frequently to assist with many issues impacting both police and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

photo of Multicultural Liaison Officer Program

Where do I get more information?

Multicultural Advisory Unit
Victoria Police
Telephone: 03 9247 6911
Email: multicultural.advisory.office@police.vic.gov.au
Website: Victoria Police


"These communities now feel more able to access policing services through the relationships that have been forged since their appointment."
Victoria Police