Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, Victoria: Australia's First female Police Chief
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In 2001, Christine Nixon made history by becoming Australia's first female police commissioner, 85 years after the appointment of the first female police and following decades of extreme discrimination against women in police work. She is now Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police Force, which has 12,800 personnel, including 9,700 sworn officers, in a state with a population of 4.6 million. Christine joined the New South Wales (NSW) Police in 1972, and rose through the ranks in a period when NSW police were looked to as the most progressive and innovative in the country, and also derided as the most corrupt. Her time in NSW as Assistant Commissioner covered the period of the Wood Royal Commission (1994-97), which revealed extensive police misconduct and entrenched pockets of corruption. It was widely believed that she would eventually become the first female commissioner in NSW; but there was surprise all round when she took the top post in Victoria, which for the preceding decade had been amongst the most misogynist forces in the country. The prospects were that she would face resistance and opposition at every turn, as an outsider and a woman. But she quickly developed an extraordinary popularity right across Victorian society and within the Victoria Police (Chulov 2002).
Police Practice and Research
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