Three Griffith University criminology students have been recognised by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for their work in contributing to last year’s successful G20 Summit.
In the presence of the Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, students Christine Carney, Kasey Swank and Taylor Reeve were presented with their awards at a ceremony at QPS Headquarters in Brisbane.
The third-year Criminology and Criminal Justice students completed a professional practice placement with the QPS in the lead-up to the G20 Summit in November 2014.
Inspector Rob McCall has been supervising QPS student placements from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Griffith University) for a number of years.
Student professional placements
As a Griffith University graduate himself Rob has been pleased with the calibre of those students on professional practice placement. Rob who at the time of G20 was the Acting Superintendent of Support Services for the G20 Group said:
“The professional practice placement for the three students occurred at an exceptional time for the QPS and the fact that all three students were then were able to enter the Volunteer in Policing Programme during the G20 event gave them a unique insight into the organisation during arguably the largest security operation in Australia’s history.”
Christine worked with liaison officers dealing with business groups, issues-motivated (protest) groups and community groups to explain the G20 process.
“The officers gave talks to the groups and explained the impacts of the G20, and safety and security issues,’’ Christine said.
Christine also attended meetings and surveyed the various groups to determine if the QPS’s external engagement strategy was effective.
She found that lessons learned from previous G20 meetings, especially in Toronto and the UK, improved negotiations with the groups in the lead-up the summit.
“The QPS approach was similar to the Swedish Dialogue Model where Swedish police work together with protest groups. The key message to protesters was ‘we understand you have a message you want to get out and we’re happy for that, if it’s safe and peaceful’.”
Christine, along with Canadian exchange students Taylor and Casey, also volunteered with the QPS during the G20, working to ensure the event’s smooth running.
“It was an amazing experience. From day one, we were part of the team. I felt like I contributed to the G20 and made a difference.”
Lecturer Dr Lyndel Bates said Professional Practice was a key course that enabled students to use what they learn at university in real workplace projects.
“Christine was an excellent student, who applied classroom theory to practice within a workplace. She contributed in a meaningful way to the QPS through her placement.
“The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is really appreciative of the opportunities that organisations such as the QPS provide our placement students,’’ Dr Bates said.
Taylor Reeve completed his placement with the G20 Command, while Kasey Swank did his with the Queensland Police Health and Recreation Association (QPHRA).
“I analysed the value of a QPS exercise program in preparation for the G20 and other major events. I really enjoyed my placement and as an international student, it was very beneficial,’’ Taylor said.
While working with QPHRA, Kasey helped design a dedicated physical conditioning and educational program for aspiring police officers.
“Moving overseas and working hard to receive the opportunity to experience the culture of policing in Australia has been amazing. Griffith has helped me grow and excel within the field of policing.”
When they graduate this year, Kasey and Taylor hope to become police officers either in Australia or Canada.
Their lecturer, Miria Bastock, said they applied themselves to a range of learning opportunities presented to them during their placement.
“This award recognises their ongoing commitment to being involved with policing and community activities above and beyond the requirements of their formal studies,’’ she said.