Top honour for Burringurrah cop Sheryl Jackamarra

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A police officer serving in one of WA’s most remote policing districts says she was “humbled” to be awarded a prestigious police honour this year.

Sheryl Jackamarra is the officer-in-charge of Burringurrah Multi-Function Police Facility and was one of only four WA officers to receive the Australian Police Medal on January 26.

The award is given for “exemplary service” to the WA Police Force and community.

“I was shocked to even be nominated,” Brevet Sen-Sgt Jackamarra said. “It’s not something you expect in this job. But it was an honour to be recognised alongside such experienced officers.”

Beginning her policing career in 2002 as an Aboriginal police liaison officer, she quickly rose through the ranks to brevet senior sergeant and now works in the isolated Burringurrah community about 480km east of Carnarvon.

She was recognised as a “trail blazer” for Aboriginal woman in policing and as a positive role model in the community.

“When I started policing I decided I wanted to work on the ground with our people rather than an office, and this job has certainly given me that opportunity,” she said.

She has overseen a reduction in crime during her time at the facility and credits it to building respect and engagement with her community.

In addition to her policing duties, she is heavily involved in the local school, co-ordinates community events every night and takes a lead role during emergencies.

“It’s a career that’s rewarding in many ways,” she said. “Nothing’s easy on the job but nothing worth achieving ever is.”

Mid West Gascoyne District Superintendent Roger Beer, who was also awarded the APM last week, had high praise for Sen-Sgt Jackamarra and her “very, very good work”.

“She’s been really, really good out in Burringurrah and her role goes far more than just policing. I mean she really makes that community function and holds them together,” he said.

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