Edited by Tony Dundon and Adrian Wilkinson
In 2017 Victoria Police celebrated 100 years of women in policing. The Victoria Police Museum mounted an exhibition entitled Agents of Change, celebrating how women had contributed to the shaping of policing in Victoria, Australia. The Police website also contained a section celebrating the milestone with timelines and stories of significant women in policing. In its promotion of the museum exhibition, the website stated that, ‘The overall aim of the exhibition is a celebration of women’s contributions to policing in Victoria over a century. It aims to acknowledge the historical struggles and discrimination women faced, in order to highlight the equality and diversity of Victoria Police today’ (Victoria Police 2017). There is no denying that Victoria Police has transformed in just over a century. However, while women are much better represented now than in 2017, Victoria Police acknowledges that it has not yet achieved gender equality. In 2014, the Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton, recognised that there was a need to address discrimination and sexual harassment in Victoria Police. Seeking to take a leadership position in gender equality, he called upon the Victoria Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) to review, report and make recommendations upon sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Victoria Police. The Report was delivered in 2015. It included twenty recommendations that covered issues from governance structures and leadership training to cultural change, recruitment and promotion targets for women in Victoria Police and the establishment of independent oversight, all of which Victoria Police committed to act upon.
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