Ten students from the Certificate IV in Crime and Justice (10283NAT) / Diploma of Crime and Justice Studies (10284NAT) are taking part in the initiative, gaining experience in the Department’s Justice of the Peace Branch and learning how it supports the state’s communities and legal services.
“TAFE Queensland has a long-standing relationship with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General which has evolved over many years,” said Brian Heim, Director of Faculty Applied Sciences and Business at TAFE Queensland.
“This partnership already sees the Department regularly provide guest speakers to broaden student knowledge around public sector ethics."
“The Department facilitates student involvement in Brisbane's 'Law Week' where students observe Justice of the Peace Officers in local courts and community centres throughout Brisbane. This initiative was the catalyst in developing the work experience program,” said Brian.
During their work experience, students are helping with the Department’s digitalisation project. And while their tasks are administrative, the students’ positive attitudes have shone through, impressing the branches Registrar and Manager, Damien Mealey.
“The diligence and professionalism of each student has been impressive — they’re certainly committed to learning and being part of the team,” said Damien.
“Stepping into an office to work with new people for the first time can be a challenge, but they have quickly gotten up to speed with the complexities of the Department and handled the tasks we gave them.”
The work experience is helping to bridge the gap between students graduating and entering the workforce and is also an extension of the positive relationship TAFE Queensland has with Queensland’s legal industry.
“After attending industry events, I noticed there was a gap between students graduating and entering the Justice system at the entry-level,” continued Damien.
“While TAFE Queensland’s crime and justice students learn from teachers who have professional legal backgrounds, nothing prepares them for the workforce like being immersed in a real legal environment.”
Crime and justice student Madison Bewert is relishing the opportunity to see the practical side of a government department, as she studies towards a career in law enforcement.
“I’ve wanted to work within the justice and crime sector since I was in high school,” said Madison.
“But I’m not the kind of person who wants to sit behind a desk so I’ve focussed on a career in law enforcement with the Australian Federal Police.”
Madison’s parents also explored careers in policing, but ultimately took different paths. However, they knew how fulfilling a career in law enforcement could be and encouraged her to go for it.
“Mum and Dad have supported me to follow my dream every step of the way. After deciding I wanted to get into the Australian Federal Police, I enrolled in the certificate course."
“After I finish the certificate, I’ll study the Diploma of Crime and Justice Studies (10284NAT) and then apply with the Queensland Police Service. After a few years with the police, I’ll apply to join the Australian Federal Police,” she said.
Madison is both confident and determined to fulfil her law enforcement career goal, buoyed on by her educators, fellow students and the course content.
“The course, my tutors, my classmates, and the work experience I’m getting with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General is giving me a foundation to launch my career from. I’m getting great insights into the inner workings of a government department,” she said.