Uniforms make proud statement

Taelor PeluseyAugusta Margaret River Times
Sergeant Brett Cassidy, First Class Constable Jeremy Priest and customer service officer Mel Principe in the special NAIDOC Week uniforms.
Camera IconSergeant Brett Cassidy, First Class Constable Jeremy Priest and customer service officer Mel Principe in the special NAIDOC Week uniforms.

Margaret River police are joining more than 2000 officers across WA in donning special uniforms to mark NAIDOC Week.

This week, the uniforms worn by officers in the South West district depict artwork by Noongar-Yamatji artist Justin Martin.

Six other artists’ work is being worn by officers elsewhere in the State.

Margaret River officer-in-charge Sergeant Brett Cassidy told the Times the initiative aimed to strengthen the bond between police and indigenous Australians.

“We want to strengthen relationships by showing respect to the culture of Aboriginals,” he said.

The artwork by Martin — a 34-year-old married father of four from Wadjuk country — represents the daily songlines of four brothers and their hunting and gathering activities.

The blue symbols represent the places where the river and ocean meet, while the circle at the centre represents Noongar country.

Sgt Cassidy said while Margaret River did not have a big Aboriginal presence — recent Census data showed just 1.4 per cent of the population was indigenous — it was still important to mark the occasion.

The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is Our Languages Matter with the aim of celebrating the role of language in cultural identity and linking indigenous Australians to country.

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