ACWAP Awards 2014

Australasian Council of Women and Policing

Excellence in Policing Awards




Cindy Millen, Victoria Police

Cindy Millen has shown herself to be an outstanding leader and positive role model for Victoria Police, she is supportive, unselfish challenges the thinking of any person, leads by example and demonstrate to people, in particular women, that there is no obstacle too big to stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.

Cindy has been a member of Victoria Police for over 25 years performing duties in a number of diverse operational fields including; one of the first female investigators within the Victoria Police Homicide Squad, Station Commander at a large 24 hour police complex, Chief of Staff to the Chief Commissioner and currently the Divisional Commander of what is considered the most important police division within Victoria.  Cindy has always maintained a strong focus on supporting and developing members in particular police women while also promoting and encouraging all women within the community to strive and achieve their own goals using her own career and the adversity she has overcome to achieve her own personal goals.  While establishing her own career within Victoria Police Cindy has struggled with own personal issues including been a victim of domestic violence which now see’s her as a single mother raising two young daughters while accommodating the demands of her dynamic career.



Donna MacGregor, Queensland Police Service

Sergeant Donna Macgregor is a highly credentialed and respected anthropologist who continues to progress the field of forensic anthropology and osteology within the policing and education environments. Donna is the first anthropologist within the QPS (and possibly Australia) and has mentored/coached/lectured in excess of 27 female scientific officers and 88 female scenes of crime officers during her tenure at QPS scientific section. Anthropologists are primarily attached to mortuary systems.  AFP now has one female officer performing similar roles who was a student of Donna’s skeletal recovery course.

Donna utilises her anthropology and osteology expertise to assist police officers in identifying and determining the value of skeletal remains within the operational investigative environment.  Donna’s knowledge and expertise allows investigations to be managed in accordance with findings delivered in an effective and efficient fashion allowing resources to be appropriately allocated.  Donna has delivered her findings at all levels of court with her evidence being instrumental in the successful conviction of offenders.  Donna is the consummate professional who is respected by prosecution, defence, academics and judges alike. Donna presents and conducts herself in a way which earns her personal respect and respect for her role.  She establishes a high standard of work ethos through leading by example and encourages the same from females under her mentorship.  Donna encourages females to excel in their field through training and mentorship and actively promotes individuals to stand up for themselves in an assertive and constructive manner whilst participating in the team environment.



Tanya Swift, Australian Federal Police

Accompanied by her trusty note pad and pen, with a dynamic work ethic and effervescent personality she broke the glass ceiling to become the first police woman to hold a senior role within the International Police Coordination Board – Afghanistan, displaying an outstanding commitment to leadership and as an inspirational beacon to woman in Afghanistan.

Tanya was a ground breaker for woman in policing by being the first female to hold a highly prestigious role of Chief Coordinator for the IPCB having responsibility for managing a multi-national group of policing experts as well as locally engaged Afghan staff in rebuilding the Afghan National Police. Tanya displayed outstanding dedication, compassion and commitment, living and working in a country where women are mostly devalued and under constant threat and intimidation through cultural pressure. Tanya was highly regarded across the policing, military, diplomatic and Afghan political and policing diaspora. She embodied the true values of police leadership and did so in a hostile, complex and highly dangerous environment.



Philip Green, Victoria Police

Driven by a desire for gender equality and genuine commitment to improving policing for women, Philip Green has provided unwavering support, assistance and empowerment to women working in a male dominated workforce, whilst influencing the attitudes and behaviours of men resulting in positive changes to workplace culture and cementing his position as a genuine champion of change.

Throughout his career, Philip has displayed an ongoing and exemplary commitment to supporting women in policing. He has challenged the behaviours and attitudes of male members in the organisation in his pursuit of gender equality. Philip has made a significant impact for women in a male dominated workforce and he truly is a Champion of Change.



Rebecca Ellis Hoskings, Cook Islands

Senior Sergeant Rebecca Ellis Hoskings is an excellent role model, a coacher, a leader, a Police Officer and a grandmother who is always willing to assist the women in Policing for Asia and Pacific.  She is a Senior Mentor and Coacher for women in the Pacific Region for a number of years.

Rebecca is someone who had contributed a lot to the development and upbringing of the Pacific women in Policing and even Asia.  Rebecca is a role model who had shown alto of progressive and inventive leadership with alto of encouragement, motivation and caring for our women in the region.  She had contributed a lot to the women in policing in the Pacific.  She led the Pacific Island Chief’s of Police Women’s Advisory Network (PICP WAN) in 2008 to 2009. She is an active leader and has rendered her efforts to a lot of development of advancing our women in policing.  Rebecca had shown a lot of leadership characteristics in her own Police Force and she always volunteers to assist the junior officers in her own organisation.  Rebecca continues to render her services in assisting the women in the Cooks and the Pacific and especially giving guidance and advice to women in policing in enhancing their skills and leadership traits in paving the way forward in the future.

Highly Commended – Lily Mawa Joel, Vanuatu



Alice Springs Integrated Response to Family and Domestic Violence Project Reference Group, Northern Territory Government

The Reference Group is the wellspring of community energy and commitment guiding the development and implementation of the Alice Springs Integrated Response to Family and Domestic Violence project, working unrelentingly tin increase the safety owe omen and their children and improve accountability of men who use family and domestic violence and support them to change their behaviour.

Aboriginal women in Alice Springs face some of the highest rates and most extreme forms of family and domestic violence in Australia. The project has highlighted the capacity for change in the face to seemingly overwhelming odds, when community members collaborated and harness their will for change. Against a compelling narrative of the dangers of life in Alice Springs the project guided by the Reference Group is squarely committed to and driving change in that narrative in a way that deserves recognition. Sustainable change in attitudes, behaviour and access to services can only be achieved through effective partnerships between government, non-government and the community.



Samantha Bliss, Queensland Police Service

Samantha Bliss is an outstanding leader within the Queensland Police Service.  She is a highly experienced investigator in the Child Protection field and is an inspirational leader within the indigenous community.

Sam was selected as a Member of the 2013 AILC (Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre) National Forum Steering Committee that developed and coordinated the National Leadership Plus Forum held in Cairns. Only 10 persons were selected across Australia to form the committee. Over 250 nominations were submitted. Sam has completed a Draft Community Initiative Resource (CAP – Coordinated Action Plan) namely: “It’s Not Your Fault” whilst completing her Cert IV in Indigenous Leadership. The resource is a coordinated, well-planned approach to responding to students exposed to Family violence—where everyone within the school and community is clear on roles and responsibilities. This ensures that Indigenous Children and families get the help they need. Sam developed a program to enhance future prospects for indigenous women recognising the important role that women provide in the community. These projects have been created with the view that creating stronger families and communities will provide a direct correlation to the QPS and reduce calls for service for domestic violence and assaults along with reduction youth crime.  Sam was a keynote speaker at the Black, Bold & Beautiful luncheon held at the Hilton Hotel, Brisbane on International Women’s Day. At this forum she shared her story and her life as an Indigenous Woman in the QPS. Sam further promoted the QPS and encouraged Indigenous Women to join the QPS.



Alison Brand, New Zealand Police

For innovative leadership and her wealth of experience, Senior Sergeant Alison Brand’s dedication to embedding Policing Excellence and her focus on enabling women to succeed the New Zealand Police.

Alison is an exemplary leader across a broad range of administrative work groups and functions. She is a problem solver who constantly looks for ways to improve service delivery and maximise work effort to output ratio. She is the District expert and recognised nationally as the lead practitioner for case management. She is dedicated to providing a first class service for victims, ensuring the public’s first contact with Police is empathetic, timely and prevention focussed. She seeks out opportunities for women, both sworn and Police employees to help enable them to reach their full potential. Her experience, knowledge and ability to see any administrative process from conception through to its practical implementation is exceptional. Her actions have contributed to embedding Police Excellence, and are now part of the New Zealand Police Model.

Highly Commended – Vicky Kyris, Victoria Police



Michelle Harris, Australian Federal Police

By sharing her knowledge and offering guidance Michelle Harris has positively impacted on her peers whilst through her commitment to the community has positively improved the policing response provided to members of the community she has served.

Over a lengthy policing career Michelle has demonstrated a strong work ethic and unselfish commitment to supporting and advancing her peers. Her work with the International Police Association has extended her reach to the number of members she has personally assisted.  She is a professional member with vast expertise who has been a positive role model for both men and women within not only her home jurisdictions but in a variety of Asian Pacific policing jurisdictions where she has worked and with the large number of international colleagues she has not only worked with but engaged globally.

Highly Commended – Jenny Brown, New South Wales Police Force



Kim Cavell, Queensland Police Service

Detective Sergeant Kim Cavell is an outstanding investigator who has continued to perform and display a high level of commitment in investigating and managing major serious investigations, achieving significant outcomes which have provided inspiration to all investigators and other police, especially female officers who wish to pursue a career as an investigator.

Throughout 2013 and into 2014 Kim has either personally investigated or managed a number of different operations involving major investigations into the suspicious death or murders of four male persons.  The investigations were high profile investigations gaining significant community and media attention, in particular two of the murders involving the victims being punched after attending night club or licensed premises.   The investigations carried out and managed by Kim reflected her high level of skills and professionalism as an investigator.   She was constantly in the spotlight and represented the Queensland Police Service in a professional and highly competent manner to both the media and the community. She responded to dealing with these offences from the viewpoints of offenders, witnesses, and the family members notably the female partners of the victims, and identified best practice options for further investigations and responding to similar major investigations. Kim’s ability as investigator stood out during these investigations and substantiates this nomination.

Highly Commended – Karen Bennett, Victoria Police