Women in QPS: Leading Service

Women have been inspiring, empowering and succeeding in the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for 90 years.

The first intrepid women to venture into policing in the 1930s would have been immensely proud when Commissioner Katarina Carroll stepped up to take on the highest ranking leadership role in the now-15,000 strong organisation.

Like all women-and men-who have achieved great things through serving their community, Commissioner Carroll started at the very beginning, finding the courage to first don a uniform and swear an oath of service in 1983.

Commissioner Carroll discusses matters with Deputy Commissioner Taylor

The following decades saw her move around the state building on her skills, knowledge and experience as she took on the challenges of general duties, investigations, crime operations, ethical standards, human resource management and eventually senior leadership roles.

In 2012, she took on the role of Assistant Commissioner of the G20 Planning Unit to command Queensland’s largest global peacetime security operation, which ran to international acclaim in 2014.

It took another leap of faith to leave the organisation she had devoted herself to for so many years to lead another great service organisation, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

She returned to the QPS as the Service’s first female Commissioner in August 2019 with a vision to lead an engaged, supported and informed workforce with the physical and mental fitness to face the challenges of protecting the community in the face of ever-increasing demand.

Commissioner Carroll’s first priority was to travel the vast state of Queensland talking to police and staff members to find out what the issues were, both locally and statewide.

Police culture and organisational morale were in her sights, and she set the agenda by seeking input from across the QPS to define a new set of values all members could aspire to.

Integrity, professionalism, community, respect and fairness are now enshrined as the core of who Queensland police are and what they do every day

“Building trust in, and within, an organisation is crucial if we are to have a healthy workforce that is able to work effectively in partnership with our communities,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Developing our new set of values gives each one of us ownership of how we behave every day and serves as a benchmark to inspire and empower our people.”

Commissioner Carroll regularly represents the Service at press conferences

Equally high in the list of priorities was making sure the organisation could continue to deliver services now and into the future while meeting the localised needs of communities across the state.

A far-reaching independent strategic review of police operations has been the catalyst for a redesign of the service delivery model to ensure the QPS is dedicating its resources to where they are needed most.

“There will always be challenges for law enforcement in a changing world, but if we take a fresh look at our strategic direction and make sure our people are well supported, we are in good stead to successfully meet these challenges,” she said.

Accepting challenges head-on, finding fresh solutions to problems both old and new and, above all, being passionate, positive and caring about her people are some of the drivers behind Commissioner Carroll’s ability to inspire, empower and succeed in one of the world’s largest policing organisations.

QPS officers have shared their journey to help inspire Queenslanders to take a close look at a policing vocation when considering their potential profession.

For more information on police recruiting, please visit policerecruit.com.au.


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