Commissioner Ian Stewart today joined police and emergency services from across the country to launch the Uniforms 4 Kids initiative at Queensland Police Service Headquarters.
Uniforms 4 Kids is a not-for-profit charity, founded by retired QPS officer Yvonne Pattinson OAM, aimed at repurposing uniforms for disadvantaged children within the community. Since the program's inception, QPS uniforms have been repurposed for Indigenous children across Australia and also children in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea.
As an Official Ambassador for the initiative, Commissioner Stewart said it was an honour to be part of such a worthwhile initiative. Today's launch was also supported by key figures including His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governer of Queensland, The Honourable Mark Ryan MP Minister for Police, The Hononourable Peter Dutton MP Minister for Home Affairs and Commissioner Andrew Colvin of the Australian Federal Police.
"Through this program, our Queensland Police Service uniforms are continuing to serve and protect Queensland communities," Commissioner Stewart said.
"By supporting this program, we are able to take our community partnerships from strength to strength and really give back to our communities.
"I am proud of each and every one of our members who is able to donate their old uniforms for such a good cause and I thank those members of our Queensland community who give their time to removing patches and sewing new clothes for those in our community who need it most."
Today's launch also saw the unveilling of new swing tags which will be used to accompany the clothes when they are donated to children.
By creating a personal connection through these swing tags, the children receiving the clothes are able to identify and bond with the donator and further strengthen trust and a sense of community.
Featured on the QPS swing tags are;
- Senior Constable Sarah McGuinness from the Gold Coast District Crime Prevention Unit;
- Senior Constable Neil McKellar from the Rail Squad;
- Police Liaison Officer Ricky Lashand from the South Brisbane District;
- Sergeant Darnielle Fioriti with Volunteer in Policing Bill Jeffs from the South Brisbane District Crime Prevention Unit;
- Sergeant Mal Scott from Cooroy Station;
- Senior Sergeant Bradyn Murphy from the Gold Coast Road Policing Unit;
- Senior Constable Sacha Thomson from the Gold Coast Water Police Unit;
- Senior Constable Susan Raimondo from Thursday Island Station; and
- Police puppy Gilly and Police Horse Stormy.
As key supporters of the program, Sergeant Scott and Police Liaison Officer (PLO) Ricky Lashand were present at today's launch.
Being part of this program is extremely important to both Sergeant Scott and PLO Lashand, and they were proud to be honoured for their contribution in this way.
"Being a frontline police officer, I often have contact with children who have been exposed to significant emotional trauma," Sergeant Scott said.
"To be involved in the Uniforms 4 Kids program allows me to give a little back to these same kids and to see a smile on their faces when they receive these lovely clothes means a great deal to me personally."
For more information on Uniforms 4 Kids, including how you can get involved, click here.