Artists leave cultural mark on police

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Great Southern police will wear specially designed uniforms and drive a patrol car inspired by talented Noongar artists as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations next month.

Local police on Tuesday received their new vehicle, which features the work of Noongar artist Peter Farmer Jr and will remain part of the patrol fleet after NAIDOC Week, from July 2-9.

Mr Farmer, who is the first Minang man in his family to be born in Minang country, is one of seven artists whose work has been chosen to represent each police region.

His work will also feature on the uniforms of motorcycle police in Perth and Fremantle.

Great Southern and South West police officers will wear shirts designed by Perth artist Justin Martin, whose mother Cheryl Martin (nee Walley) is a Noongar woman from the region.

The major change to police uniform will be worn by 2100 officers across WA with an aim of strengthening relationships with local Aboriginal communities.

Great Southern Police District Superintendent Dom Wood said he was thrilled with the arrival of the new car this week and the new uniform to be worn by his officers provided an educational opportunity to learn the stories behind each design and relay that back to the community.

“We are going to have police officers wearing new shirts with the Aboriginal art emblazoned on the shirts so it’s going to be very visible,” he said. “We are excited about it and looking forward to getting out and engaging more with the local community.

“Members of the community of Albany and across the Great Southern are going to see this car driving around town.

“It will be used by our frontline officers and it’s a fantastic opportunity for WA police to build and strengthen relationships between the Aboriginal communities and understand the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. And I guess also to enhance the understanding for our police officers of Aboriginal art, history and culture.”

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