Ambition turns into a lifelong dream

Ambition turns into a lifelong dream

Mundijong Police cadet Jess Dowell is currently completing the WA Force Aboriginal Cadet program. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Many of us have dreams of what we want to be when we grow up and for Jess Dowell her dream was to be a police officer. 

“I was that little girl in a dress that had a gun strapped to my leg and a fake little badge,” she said. 

“I have always wanted to be a police officer but I just didn’t know how to get there.” 

Miss Dowell is completing the WA Police Force Aboriginal Cadet Program after being accepted in May last year. 

At first she was stationed at Mandurah Police Station but the 23-year-old is continuing her cadetship at Mundijong Police Station under the guidance of Senior Sergeant Darryl Brandis. 

“Through the cadet program I do anything from washing the police cars to helping people with case files,” she said.

“I also look at CCTV footage, answer calls, help with enquiries and talk to members of the public about any issues they are experiencing.” 

Upon leaving school Miss Dowell headed to university to study law but had a change of heart and moved back home to New South Wales.

However when she heard about the cadet program in Western Australia she instantly thought it was where she needed to be.

“The program is for Indigenous people like myself and it can range from 17 through to open age,” she said.

“It helps Indigenous people into the workforce and allows us to develop skills and knowledge to help us hopefully become a recruit.

“I love working in this environment, the people I work with and the jobs that I have been allowed the opportunity to do.” 

Snr Sgt Brandis said Jess is the seventh Aboriginal cadet they have had at Mundijong and all but one had been successful in becoming a recruit.

“I think as an Aboriginal cadet Jess sets a good precedent for other people to come forward and take the first step to become a police officer,” he said.

“Jess is very enthusiastic and she has a real spark about her. 

“She bounces in every day, works the whole day no matter what we ask her to do.”