A police officer who has implemented successful training and improved outcomes for her team has been awarded the 2021 Gold Commissioner’s Perpetual Award for the Advancement of Women in Policing.
Superintendent Gina Bostick, Acting Commander High Tech Crime Branch, Forensic Evidence & Technical Services Command, Investigations & Counter Terrorism, not only took out the top prize but was also the winner of the “Dynamic Leader” award.
Superintendent Bostick was instrumental in creating change within her unit including forming a team to deliver training to all staff across NSW and encouraging staff to embrace innovative ways of doing business.
The Perpetual Awards were established in 2006 to acknowledge and showcase the efforts and achievements of women in policing.
This year, the number of nominations received increased by 56% with 78 people put forward across the eight award categories, including three new awards that further recognise the achievements of women and men in advancing the standing of women within the NSW Police Force.
There were 25 award and highly commended certificate recipients, as well as the overall Gold Perpetual Award winner.
The awards were presented by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta today (Tuesday 22 June 2021).
Employees and their families attended the awards ceremony, which was emceed by Superintendent Despa Fitzgerald.
The NSW Police Commissioner praised all the nominees for their efforts and achievements to help elevate the standing of women within the NSW Police Force and community.
“Each day, police officers and administrative staff go above and beyond to support and recognise the advancement of women in the NSWPF and I’m proud to be awarding them today,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“These awards are a testament to the outstanding contributions of our employees and it is a privilege to acknowledge the hard work, passion and dedication of those who actively make our organisation a better place to work.”
Assistant Commissioner Gavin Wood, the new Commander of Human Resources for the NSW Police Force, and the host officer at the event, congratulated the 25 finalists for this year’s awards.
“I commend the extraordinary efforts made by the finalists towards making New South Wales Police Force a better workplace, and a more effective police force for the communities we serve,” said Assistant Commissioner Wood.
“Today we celebrate how much progress we have made while recognising there is more work to do and I look forward to continuing the momentum towards greater representation of women in all ranks of our organisation.”
The winners of the eight categories were:
Dynamic Leader Award –Superintendent Gina Bostick – Commander High Tech Crime Branch, Forensic Evidence & Technical Services Command
Superintendent Gina Bostick is generous with her time and genuinely takes a keen interest in her staff who find her to be an inspiring and exciting leader. Superintendent Bostick identified key areas for improvement and innovative ways of doing business which have been embraced by staff and seen more involvement in Branch activities. This includes utilising the Travertine System for High Risk Missing Persons which was developed under her leadership. She has also helped to motivate workers and reduce workplace injuries and complaints. Superintendent Bostick was instrumental in changing the Digital Forensics Unit and creating a training team to deliver training to all staff across NSW. She was also the project owner of the iCatss Project (to create and develop a new telecommunications interception system).
Local Hero Award – Senior Constable Belinda Flynn – Youth Officer, Hawkesbury Police Area Command, North West Metropolitan Region
Senior Constable Belinda Flynn has caused positive change with her contribution to innovative programs such as Ruff Track and Hawkesbury Helping Hands, well outside the “normal” bounds of policing. The programs provide an excellent link to the community in addressing the cause of crime before it occurs. Senior Constable Flynn has had a positive influence on the young, vulnerable and people at risk and she has been widely accepted and recognised by the Hawkesbury community as a compassionate, caring police officer. Her involvement in those programs has changed the life of young people which will enable them to become valued members of the community and turn their lives around.
Aboriginal Leadership Award – Linda Jurotte – Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO), Mt Druitt Police Area Command
In her role as an ACLO, Linda Jurotte participates in and supports local Aboriginal kids through Commissioner Fuller’s RISEUP Strategy at Mt Druitt PCYC, particularly, the Fit For Life, Fit Together and Breaking Barriers programs. Linda is ‘Aunty’ to seven police and administrative aboriginal employees at Mt Druitt PAC and countless others throughout the State, to whom she provides a type of support and guidance that can only come from a more senior member of the Aboriginal family. Linda has successfully formed a firm link between police and the Aboriginal community through her work with ‘Baabayn’ – a local community centre and overall safe place for Aboriginal people. Through this work, Linda has instilled confidence in members of the Aboriginal community to reach out to police for help, particularly victims of domestic violence seeking help, information or further support services. Linda has also introduced uniformed police into the community centre who have been welcomed by the Aboriginal elders.
Innovation Award – Sergeant Natalie Wicks – Forensic Supervisor, Crime Scene Services Branch, Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command
Sergeant Natalie Wicks co-authored procedures for a regional “fingerprint bucket” where fingerprint analysis work is distributed equally across the state, leading to a reduction in analysis completion times. The project involved implementation of a standard workflow for fingerprint analysis at sites remote to the fingerprint capture location. This has seen a dramatic decrease in analysis turnaround times, with fingerprint results often provided in hours not days. Sergeant Wicks has been part of formalising procedures so that all staff across regional NSW are working to the same guidelines, allowing for consistency in analysis timeframes, regardless of remoteness of staff.
Champion of Change Award – Superintendent Kerrie Lewis APM – Commander, Campsie Police Area Command
Superintendent Kerrie Lewis has actively supported and developed women for senior management, encouraged women within the workplace to participate in corporate programs as a means of further development – including NSWPF Spokeswoman’s Conference and Leading Ladies Program – and encouraged diversification and flexibility in relieving. Superintendent Lewis actively pursues change and allows opportunities for growth for those who show initiative to progress within different fields and learn within other units. Superintendent Lewis has been a real role model to female police officers and is highly respected for her leadership and the means in which she encourages her staff to be the best they can be.
Male Champion of Change Award – Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald APM – Commander, Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command (FE&TSC)
Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald took an active role in developing and supporting both police and administrative women in senior leadership roles within the command. After identifying low numbers of women in senior roles, Assistant Commissioner Fitzgerald immediately reviewed the Senior Management Team (SMT) membership, provided relieving opportunities and engaged in one on one mentoring programs, including exposure to the Commissioner’s Executive Team, for several female officers. His mentoring and supportive leadership strategies have seen over 25 female staff promoted into leadership roles, actively be mentored and given relieving opportunities within FE&TSC. The promotions have seen the SMT gender balanced across all ranks and grades with the FE&TSC. Overall, he has set the standard and framework for the mentoring and development of junior officers by the leadership teams across the Command, evidence by the increased uptake of female officers entering the promotion system in 2021, many for the first time.
Role Model Award – Sergeant Mary-Frances Fede – Team Leader, Murrumbidgee Police District, Southern Region
Sergeant Mary-Frances Fede is a positive influence and role model for not only the members of her General Duties team, but all General Duties officers at Griffith Police Station. Staff from all teams seek out her advice, guidance and support. Her encouragement and development has enhanced other officers’ performance and career progression including two female officers who she mentored, encouraging them to grow within their current positions, identify and embrace new opportunities, and to develop in their career. Sergeant Fede promotes teamwork and communicates corporate and command priorities to staff clearly and effectively.
Mentor Award – Danielle Rebbeck – Proactive Crime Team Leader, Lake Illawarra Police District
Sergeant Danielle Rebbeck has always been driven to developing and mentoring junior staff, many of whom have since been promoted or progressed in their careers. She ensures that they develop the skills and confidence across all aspects of policing. Sergeant Rebbeck runs the Investigators course and is actively involved in many of the leadership forums and mentoring programs run at the Lake Illawarra Police District. Over the last 12 months, Sergeant Rebbeck has utilised her mentoring skills to work with two of female officers who have experienced mental health challenges. By sharing her own experience, she helped the officers both professionally and personally, resulting in their successful recovery, high level of performance and regained confidence.