Living in Queensland where the weather is said to be “Beautiful one day, Perfect the next” we are blessed. However, during this Ramadan we have seen remarkable steps towards peaceful, respectful and cordial interaction within Queensland communities which outshines even the weather.

A number of positive steps have been taken by Queensland Police Service  to build relationships of mutual trust and respect across our multicultural community. The commitment to a safer, happier Queensland has been fostered and upheld by Commissioner Ian Stewart who hosted a very successful Iftar Dinner at the Greek Club on Monday 28 May.

The evening commenced with a recitation of Qur’an by Imam Ghazali and included musical items from the Islamic School Choir. The Keynote Speaker was 4th year BA student, Ayesha Tauseef who is a proud young Muslim woman passionate about gender equality and interfaith dialogue.

Commissioner Stewart’s speech focused on continual striving to provide the best possible police service to all members of the community regardless of culture, faith, gender or background. This inclusive approach may be mirrored in the “Look to the Stars” police logo which was commissioned by the Queensland Police Service and created by Gilimbaa artist Jenna Lee of the Larrakia people. [1]

An awards ceremony for the work of community members was conducted by Commissioner Stewart at the end of the evening.

Islamic School Choir

Sports – how they kick, volley and strike their way to new friendships
Another Ramadan Iftar function, this time given by the Bosnian Islamic Centre on 2nd June, was the stage for another awards ceremony, this time for the 2018 “World Game” in which the South Brisbane Police District took out the main prize in a 4-2 victory against the local Imams. The Wooden Spoon was awarded to the Politicians with no points or goals scored.

This sporting initiative involving Imams, Police and Politicians, is an Australian first and has actively set the benchmark for proactive engagement by all involved. “Sport is an active way to break down barriers and bring the community together,” said Sergeant Jim Bellos, South Brisbane District Cross-Cultural Liaison Unit.

Teams for “World Games” (Imams, Police & Politicians).

Other aspects of policing
While appreciating the effort put into the social interaction which is taking place here in Queensland, we may tend to forget that policing is a service which is for the protection of the public. Whether this is in curbing crime or carrying out routine activities within the community, our Police Officers have joined with the knowledge that this job is not without danger. It is all too often one demanding their very lives.

AT 7.00am on 6th June in Gympie, two young police officers, Snr. Constable Kevin Mayo and Constable Jeremy Gardiol, at great risk to themselves, battled to free a 76 year old man from a burning vehicle. Video imaging, which has gone viral, showed how difficult and dangerous this rescue was as flames engulfed the car. Due to their courage and training the man survived.

Wooden Spoon Award – Politicians – Mr Johnson Clem on behalf of Member for Stretton Mr Duncan Pegg, receiving from Commissioner Stewart & Sgt Jim Bellos.

As Commander Ian Stewart commented earlier, “Keeping communities safe is our core business, and to do this effectively, the assistance and cooperation of the community is vital.”

[1] The Queensland Police Service web address: www.police.qld.gov.au