Superintendent Anne Macdonald addresses the Bundaberg Business Women’s Network.
Superintendent Anne Macdonald addresses the Bundaberg Business Women’s Network. Max Fleet

Determined officer soars to top

A LOT has changed since Superintendent Anne Macdonald first joined the police force about 30 years ago, leading her to believe women can do anything.

“It was a completely different force, not only for women but also for men,” Supt Macdonald said.

Last week Supt Macdonald was asked to speak at the Bundaberg Business Women’s Network breakfast about the early days of her time as a police officer, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

Supt Macdonald said when she first started there were about two female police officers to a squad, and they were often given jobs such as looking after lost children at the show.

“It was very male dominated and the changes have been significant,” she said.

“We’ve also seen the change that women can be a police officer and then go home and look after the family.”

Because there were few females in the police force when she started, Supt Macdonald said she was one of only two female superintendents in charge of a district in the state, and there were a number of superintendents in management positions.

“I’m a very determined person who loves a challenge. I didn’t join to be just a constable.

“I had a goal of reaching a detective and when I reached that I set a new goal,” she said.

However, Supt Macdonald said it was not her career achievements that were most important to her.

Recently she was out shopping when a woman asked who she was.

About 30 years ago as a constable working in Toowoomba, Supt Macdonald had been tasked with telling the woman her husband had died in an accident.

Thirty years later, the woman wanted to thank her.

“It really does show that we can at times bring comfort to those in distress,” she said.

“I think it’s a magnificent career. I have enjoyed every single day of it.

“Yes, it is challenging, yes it is heart breaking and sometimes I’ve questioned humanity.

“But you get to meet the most amazing people – those you work with and those you meet on the job.”

For more information on International Women’s Day visit www.internationalwomensday.com.



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