INDIGENOUS people looking to join the police force are getting a head start through a groundbreaking new program being run at Casino.
After completing her HSC, Goonellabah's Jodie Manton studied at certificate three in aged care at TAFE and worked in the industry until she was bitten by the police bug when her sister, Louise, enrolled to do the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) course.
After completing her fifth week of the course, 20-year-old Jodie said she realised she had made the right choice to pursue an exciting career in which she could make a difference.
"Once I saw that my sister had enrolled, I thought that might be something really, really good to do," she said.
"I wanted to do it for myself and to better my career and also to be a role model.
"The youth in Aboriginal communities are struggling to do things with their lives and I would love to be that role model that they look at and think if you can do it I can do it.
"I would love that."
The 18-week course started on April 23 at Casino TAFE. It aims to prepare students for a career in the police force by teaching them skills in communication, IT, writing and presentation skills, workplace ethics and responsibilities, Aboriginal studies, fitness and first aid.
Ms Manton said her short-term goal was to complete the IPROWD training and get accepted into the Goulburn police academy with her sister.
In the long term she said she has ambitions to become a highway patrol officer.
"There are just so many young people out on the roads these days that just abuse their licence and abuse the road rules and they cause the most crashes," she said.
"I really think I could make a difference."
To find out more about the IPROWD program, visit iprowd.tafensw.edu.au.