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2024 – A new era and a first for the Australasian Council of Women and Policing

This week at the ACWAP Annual General Meeting our first ever New Zealand police officer was elected as President.  We welcome Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables as the new ACWAP President.  Sandra is an Assistant Commissioner within New Zealand Police and has been a police officer for 30 years.

The Australasian Council of Women and Policing (ACWAP) has been participating in the global network of women in policing since it was established in August 1997.  ACWAP consists of women and men within law enforcement agencies and the community who work together to improve the opportunities and services provided to women within our communities.

New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) Deputy Commissioner Debbie Platz APM, has been President of ACWAP for 8 years.  Debbie said “I have seen many changes and have countless highlights. Many coming from the awards and conference events that ACWAP proudly hold each year.  Since my first awards event as President in 2016 we have received 1,138 nominations and presented awards to 97 winners and 46 highly commended recipients across Australasia.”

“A couple of the most memorable highlights for me were the International Women and Police conferences held in Cairns in 2017 and New Zealand in 2023. They were our most attended conferences with more than 1500 delegates travelling from all over the world.”

As the incoming President, Sandra said, “I have loved every minute of my career and still consider it a privilege to wear the uniform and serve our communities.  It will be an honour to be able to serve the members of ACWAP as President and see how much we can do to improve law enforcement for all women – in police services and the community.”

AWCAP outgoing President Debbie Platz APM said “we can’t be what we can’t see and the appointment of our first New Zealand President demonstrates the importance of cross-border relationships and the inclusion of all across law enforcement.  We need to model real ambition – not for the sake of those women who aspire to or occupy seniority, but for the organisations they will lead and the communities they will protect. Sandra is definitely the right President for ACWAP.”

Outgoing president Deb Platz
Incoming president Sandra Venables


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