Raza at a recent Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program event

Raza Rind knew from childhood he wanted to be a police officer – inspired by a police officer uncle who would share stories and tips with the then 10-year-old Yamatji boy on camping trips in Western Australia’s rural mid-west.

“He would say, ‘you wear the uniform, you represent the community, not just the force’,” said Raza. Growing up, the now 25-year-old government worker was already active in his community; supporting peers struggling with addiction and other challenges in the 450-person-strong township of Mount Magnet.

But Raza was unsuccessful in his application to WA Police – instead spending a year in the army before discharging and finding work in warehouse security.

His sister, Laila, who was working as an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer with Victoria Police, found out about the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program that Jesuit Social Services runs in partnership with Victoria Police and Victoria University. She suggested this program to Raza.

The 15-week course supports participants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to navigate the Victoria Police recruitment process, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the community the force serves.

The program’s Aboriginal Advisor, Serena Dallen, said the course “was a great way for First Nations students to meet Mob who work in various roles in Victoria Police”.

“The courage and resilience that they had showed throughout the course and now in the application process makes me extremely proud of them,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see them in uniform representing their communities.”

Students attend three nights per week of classes covering core topics in the police recruitment process – including exam preparation, community engagement, fitness, swimming, First Aid, and more – and learn from guest speakers, police mentors, and each other.

Raza said the course was “inspirational,” and an opportunity to become a role model to other Aboriginal young people.

“I would recommend it to anyone in the community, especially young people who are troubled or need guidance,” he said.

“There aren’t many Aboriginal police officers and I see myself becoming one; becoming a role model.”


At the course’s graduation ceremony, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner, Luke Cornelius, said it was an “extraordinary privilege” to stand before the seven graduates and their families.

“We’ve long understood in policing, and we forget it to our cost, that we cannot police effectively until we represent and reflect the community we police,” he said.

Raza said his father’s experience of discrimination at the hands of police officers helped catalyse his own desire to represent a different experience of policing.

“I wanted to make a better name for the police within the community,” he said.

“I’ve always been interested in helping the community. Instead of having the police look like a tyrant, I wanted to be a figure of authority who brings law and justice, when justice is needed for the community.”

Since its inception in 2018, the Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program has supported over 230 students from 56 cultures, with 39 Victoria Police Academy places offered to program participants to date.

A second round of the Victoria Police Aboriginal Diversity Recruitment Program commences in November 2023.