ENGAGING COMMUNITIES: Police liaison officers Michelle Murray and Adrian Ghilotti wearing new shirts for NAIDOC Week 2018.
ENGAGING COMMUNITIES: Police liaison officers Michelle Murray and Adrian Ghilotti wearing new shirts for NAIDOC Week 2018. Contributed

NAIDOC Week is for everyone, Gladstone police say

TO MARK NAIDOC Week, Indigenous members of the Gladstone police department are sporting Indigenous artwork on their uniforms and vehicles.

These symbols are part of the Look up to the Stars campaign and represent relationships of trust and respect that the police wish to build with Indigenous communities.

The shirts and cars feature a collection of artworks created by Gilimbaa artist Jenna Lee, of the Larrakia people.

The art represents the past and present, as well as a united message for future relationships between police and Indigenous communities.

Police liaison officer Adrian Ghilotti said Gladstone Police took great pride in Indigenous communities and encouraged NAIDOC Week as an opportunity to value history, achievements, and culture.

"The last few years, the police have had more major involvement in NAIDOC Week," he said

"It's very important to try to bridge that gap. We want to try to get Indigenous people more involved in the Gladstone community and us more in the Indigenous community."

In previous years, Gladstone has held exhibitions, discos and other activities as part of an effort to inspire further inclusion of the Indigenous community.

Police are hopeful that the artwork featured on the uniforms and vehicles will welcome a better connection between police and Indigenous communities.

Adrian Ghilotti said police had historically had a complicated relationship with the Indigenous community.

"When we look back at the history between the police and Indigenous communities, they were scared," he said.

"We want it to be easier for them to approach police and know they'll be looked after.

"That's the reason behind this Look up to the Stars campaign; it's about uniting everyone."

Gladstone Policewish to continue effort to connect with Indigenous people and fulfil its united message of a future with respectful and trusting relationships.

"It's to bring everyone together and make a more united front for all of us," Adrian said.