Written by Jess Murray
In August 2023, I was incredibly fortunate to be part of a small group of students selected to spend a week at the Canadian Police College, Ottawa, as part of an international experience offered by Charles Sturt University.
I have worked at NAB as an Investigation Manager since May 2022, after leaving an almost 10-year policing career.
I commenced a Masters of Investigations to improve my ongoing career prospects in the private sector and remain engaged in a field I am incredibly passionate about.
I wanted to add academic depth to my operational policing experience. I don’t know that I had any expectations of the trip prior to departure, but I knew I wanted to seize the opportunity to spend a week in an unfamiliar but immersive learning environment.
I also knew that I was being presented a great and rare opportunity to network internationally with some remarkable people.
The week commenced casually on a Sunday afternoon with a BBQ, where I met my fellow students (all current police across Australia and Canada), and the course coordinators, Vern White (former police chief and senator), and Dr Jamie Ferril (Lecturer, Discipline Lead, Financial Crime Studies).
It was evident quite quickly that although our formal educational hours were scheduled during the day, we were going to learn a lot from one another informally and after hours, too.
Our course syllabus covered a range of topics, including Indigenous issues, equality and gender issues, vulnerable persons, systemic cultural issues, the Drive2 Strategy (a roadmap for transformative change, including diversity, respect, inclusion, values, equity, and engagement), financial crime and its impact, the opioid crisis, leadership, ethics, employee recruitment and retention, accountability, motivational discussions, and more.
The course also included visits to various places of significance or relevance, including the museum, and opioid crisis related services (such as safe injecting rooms and designated medical facilities).
Being the only ex-police officer student, I was somewhat concerned about my place on the course with all the current police.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find my role as an investigation manager within a bank often afforded me different insights and experiences.
I felt welcome, supported, and valued during conversations, which could sometimes be quite confronting and challenging.
The course was run incredibly well, and I have taken a great deal away from it. I could have spent another month there, and still not satiated my appetite to learn.
I particularly loved learning about systemic racism and gender equality issues within policing and the associated efforts to improve things, and the global and local impacts of money laundering.
These are issues that are of significant personal and professional interest to me (and that I have happily educated other people on).
Since returning home, I’ve kept in touch with teachers and students alike.
I have found myself a point of contact at the bank for law enforcement enquiries from my fellow students, which I think can only be a good thing for professional relationships and shaping how private and government sectors work together.
Since attending the course, I have not necessarily changed any career plans, but bold career opportunities feel more achievable.
I couldn’t recommend this course enough to anyone interested or wondering if it is right for them.
To learn more about Charles Sturt Global opportunities, click here.