As published in The Advertiser
Written by Andrew Dowdell
Photo: Mr George Fomba, Mr Jemal Mussa and Mr Juma Abuyi
Juma Abuyi hopes his own journey from a civil war zone, through a Kenyan refugee camp to policeman will inspire young African immigrants to follow him into policing.
The father-of-six, from South Sudan, is among 10 new SA Police Community Constables, who will work closely with migrant communities to help foster trust between those new to Australia and police.
Constable Abuyi, 41, was swamped by dozens of delighted family and friends at yesterday’s graduation ceremony, in which another new recruit swore his allegiance on the Koran.
“I feel so excited, I never expected to be this happy. So it is a very good thing for me,” he said.
He said his early life in war-torn South Sudan will help him relate to young Africans adapting to life in Australia.
“It’s a very good experience to be here, knowing what we have gone through in Africa, which was difficult,” he said.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the new recruits took the number of Community Constables to 34, all of whom worked in Aboriginal communities until yesterday’s graduation. Mr Stevens said it was important that SA Police reflected the changing face of the community it serves.
“Encouraging people from different ethnic backgrounds and diverse communities to become members of South Australian Police is an excellent opportunity for us to achieve the goal of replicating and reflecting our community,” he said.