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In an industry dominated by men,
Sergeant Anna Swain is leading
the charge of power women in the
"I've got three teenage sons and a
daughter so my baseline is I'm always
trying to be a good role model as a
working woman," Swain says.
ACT Policing Alcohol Crime Acting
Sergeant in the Regional Targeting
Team, Swain leads a new initiative
that came into existence in September
from the amalgamation of the city
beats' team and the alcohol crime
Having done the hard yards and now
being appointed into a leadership role,
Swain says she strives to truly make a
difference in the lives of her team and
the Canberra community.
"When you first start out in general
duties you are the first responder, the
difference that you're making is still
one person on an individual basis and
that is really important, but now I feel
like the best thing I can offer is the
ability to come in on a more strategic
level and influence change," she says.
"We have two key objectives. The first
is to provide high-visibility policing,
and the second is implementing
alcohol targeted activities.
"We can really work to make the CBD
an awesome and safe place."
Swain says she has certainly endured
a lot, persisted and put in a great deal
of commitment, time and passion into
policing to get to where she is today.
"I grew up in Canberra and becoming
a police officer was always something
I wanted to do. I guess being a mother,
you naturally want to protect people
from harm," Swain says.
"I worked my way up from general
duties and operations, and then I
went into the crash team which was a
life-changing experience, I worked on
Christmas Island, in the victims crime
team, and now the alcohol crime
and targeting team. I've always been
within the industry.
"My drive has always been that I
wanted a career rather than a job,
and now I can't imagine working for
anyone other than the Australian
After many years' experience in
frontline policing in the Canberra
CBD, Swain ranks being sent to New
Zealand to assist with the earthquake
operation in 2011 as a career
"That was about 10 years into my
career then, and it was a pivotal and
defining moment that reaffirmed in
my mind that I still wanted to be in
uniform policing," she says.
"That was when I thought yep, this
is exactly what I'm meant to do, this
absolute appreciation of uniform
Closer to home, Swain says the visit of
US president Barack Obama in 2011
and George W. Bush in 2003 were also
"We ran point duty, so road blocks and
traffic direction, and for Bush I was
actually on the tarmac when Air Force
One landed so that was exciting," she
"We also did that for the Queen, and
many other dignitary visits. We're
pretty lucky here in Canberra to
experience the upside of policing;
there are many bad times, so it's great
when something exciting comes along
that you just want to tell your kids and
your mum all about."
-- ACT POLICING ALCOHOL CRIME ACTING SERGEANT IN
THE REGIONAL TARGETING TEAM
-- GENERAL SERVICE OFFICER
Craig Harrington and his team are hard at work
while the city is fast asleep and are an integral
part of the Canberra CBD often taken for granted.
"I organise the cleaners and the cleaning that goes
on in Civic. We make the city the beautiful place it is
portrayed to be," general service officer Harrington
"Saturdays and Sundays have the biggest rubbish
levels, the city is just trash. People would be surprised
at what they see on a Sunday morning in Civic."
But in the early hours of Monday morning, before public
servants have even risen from their beds, Harrington
disposes of all the evidence and city-goers would never
know of the weekend's shenanigans.
General service officers' number one priority is looking
after sharps collections, reporting potential hazards,
and ensuring the city is safe and clean again by the
time people are awake and heading into work.
They also look after general maintenance including
litter collection, recycling, street sweeping, steam
cleaning, and cleaning public toilets.
Walking through the city, many people are unaware
that Harrington and his team have given the areas a
thorough inspection just moments before, to protect
them from any possible hazards.
Harrington says it takes a lot of dedication but admits
he quite enjoys the job.
"We clean Civic every morning. We start at 4.45am and
finish at about 2pm," Harrington says.
"The team splits up and each group has designated
areas. I have boys on City Walk, Civic Square, London
Circuit and the interchange, as well as a general sweep
of the entire CBD."
While on the job, Harrington says he has crossed paths
with some memorable characters from the public
who have made working a lot more enjoyable and
"Every day you see something different. Interacting
with the public and meeting new people is the best
part about the job -- the general public, people from all
walks of life and backpackers too," he says.
"And the outdoor life, it makes it all worth it."
Harrington says general service officers are easily
overlooked, and when there is a rare thanks, the small
gesture goes a long way.
"It's not a glamorous job. We're a great team that enjoys
what we do, but you've got to talk the boys up because
they don't get many thanks from anyone," he says.
"Every now and then they might get one from the public
and it's usually the elderly. You can see that when they
tell you they've been recognised, appreciated and
thanked, it brightens up their whole day."
I worked my way up
from general duties and
operations, and then I
went into the crash team
which was a life-changing
PEOPLE & PLACES
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