'IPROWD paved and sealed my career path. It made me even more motivated, and when I was doing my HSC I wasn't distracted wondering what I wanted to do when I left school'
As a young girl growing up in the small town of Coonabarabran, in the Warrumbungle Shire, Talisha Kuras noted that she had never seen an Aboriginal police officer. Committed to changing the status quo, this determined teenager knew she had found her career path – it was just a matter of when and where to do her training.
In 2012, aged 16, Talisha heard about TAFE Western’s Indigenous Police Recruiting Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) program. She didn’t hesitate to apply to be placed in the IPROWD Mimi Djuul school Program via TAFE Western Dubbo.
“From a young age I’ve recognised how important good role models are for Aboriginal people,” explains Talisha, who commenced the IPROWD program in 2013, while in Year 11 at Coonabarabran High School. “I am passionate about Aboriginal representation in the police force and want to help close the gap.”
According to Talisha, the program provided her with the ideal opportunity to pursue her goals. “IPROWD paved and sealed my career path. It made me even more motivated, and when I was doing my HSC I wasn’t distracted by wondering what I wanted to do when I left school,” she says.
Peter Gibbs, Co-ordinator of the IPROWD program, proved inspirational to Talisha during her studies. “He motivated me to reach my goals and further drove my ambition to achieve my dream,” she says. “I also learned a lot more about my identity and Aboriginal history – it’s a great component of the course that is specific to policing and allowed me and the other students to take a multicultural approach to the job.”
Talisha went on to complete the full IPROWD program in 2014 to become one giant step closer to achieving her dream of joining the NSW Police Force.