G'day guard - the Irish emigrants joining Australia's police force
LEAVING MYmum and dad was very difficult. My older brother married an Australian too and he’s living in Melbourne so it is very hard for them. There were many tears shed when we were leaving Dublin Airport but they could understand why we were going.
People ask if they would come here to Australia, but they are at a stage in their lives where uprooting so far from what they know just isn’t an option. They both like Australia, but they have lost their two sons to this country so it is a thorn in their side in a way. They find it quite a sterile place. Australia has the sun and surf, but it doesn’t have the history and the arts and the culture that Ireland does.
I teach Tae Kwon Do to kids in my own club called Cú Chulainn on a Sunday morning, and the response to being Irish over here is overwhelming. Every parent that comes in is either first, second or third-generation Irish.
They love the idea of their kids being taught by an Irish person in a club with an Irish name. I’m surrounded by Irish so I don’t really get homesick.
We’re settling well and know we’re here for the foreseeable future. It was hard to go but we know we’ve made the right decision for our family.
– In conversation with CIARA KENNY
Western Australia targets experience
THE POPULATION of Western Australia is growing by more than 1,000 people per week, putting enormous pressure on the resources of the police force.
The current government made an election promise to employ an additional 500 officers by 2014, which will involve “aggressively” recruiting officers from overseas, according to commissioner Karl O’Callaghan.
Speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting last week, O’Callaghan said the force was planning to hire officers who had already served in other countries such as the UK and Ireland to save the time and cost of training new recruits. The WA Police will be in London next week to recruit up to 150 frontline uniform police. Is is specifically looking for gardaí and UK police officers with between three and seven years’ service.
Officers who have been trained in other countries need to complete a 13-week transition course at the WA Police Academy in Joondalup before joining the force. The starting salary on offer will depend on the number of years experience the officer has, but a garda with three years’ experience will be granted $66,339 (€52,256) per year excluding allowances and overtime.
Gardaí, who will have spent at least two years at the Garda College in Templemore, are regarded as highly trained by the WA Police. Officers in Australia undergo just 27 weeks of training before joining the force.
The application deadline for the London recruitment drive was October 1st, but another event may be planned for next year if this one proves successful.
Irish people with permanent residency in Australia can apply to the WA Police at any time. See stepforward.wa.gov.au for details.
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Email: emigration@ irishtimes.com