One of Junee’s aspiring police officers has won an international scholarship to study policing in Europe.
Sara Makeham, a second-year criminal justice student at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, was one of just five students chosen to attend an intensive residential ‘summer’ school in the German city Münster.
Ms Makeham said she was very fortunate to be given this opportunity to follow her dreams of becoming a police officer.
“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer, ever since I was little, but I think being involved in the community is the biggest reason,” Ms Makeham said.
“Coming from Junee, I understand the impact that police officers have, and I’d really like to be able to give back to my community.”
The theme of the course is “policing through and with the community,” which Ms Makeham said suits her regional community background perfectly.
“It's all about getting into the community, getting to know them, and working from a grassroots level to help out and actually target the issues that matter in that community,” she said.
“Hopefully I’ll get a lot of experience for myself and as a future police officer, and I hope to have an eye opening experience.”
Ms Makeham added that she wouldn’t have been able to win this scholarship without the help of Inspector Rob Vergano, who guided her through the application process.
“Inspector Vergano and I sat down and we wrote an email about what we thought I’d get out of it and why I thought it was a good experience and how I’m committed to my studies,” she said.
“I’d like to thank Inspector Vergano for giving me so much of his time and really helping me get onto this trip.”
Rosemary Woolston, the senior lecturer at CSU who selected Ms Makeham for this opportunity, said the students would be exposed to a wide range of policing in Germany.
“Sara and her colleagues will participate in lectures, share ideas and discuss issues and topics relating to policing with and through community,” Ms Woolston said.
“In particular, the students will be working in groups to explore issues such as domestic abuse, traffic safety, community policing and ‘honour and crime’.”
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke also congratulated Ms Makeham on securing this incredible opportunity.
“We’re so proud of her here in Junee and this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for her to hear from experts overseas on policing and bring those key learnings back here,” Ms Cooke said.
Ms Makeham will arrive in Germany for her policing course on May 27.