There was never much doubt that Rachel Walsh would some day join Victoria Police.
The Seymour-based sergeant had always been intrigued by the role of the police and, after finishing school, went on to do police studies at university.
That led her in to the academy and the rest, as they say, is history.
‘‘I was really curious about what police did,’’ Sgt Walsh said.
‘‘There is so many different options and careers in the police force, that if you don’t like working the van, there is so many other areas to go in to.
‘‘There’s the highway patrol who enforce traffic laws, there’s the prosecutors who go out and prosecute matters at court, there’s your detectives, whether that’s the crime investigation unit or the sexual offences unit, and that’s just to name a few.
‘‘There is such job stability in the police force too, and unless you do something really bad, you have a job for life.’’
No two days are ever the same for Sgt Walsh.
She is currently a part of the family violence unit — a role she has been in for the past six months — for both the Mitchell and Benalla shires.
She manages high-risk victims — those that have either had serious incidents happen to them or have been a victim three times in 12 months — while she also oversees recidivist offenders.
‘‘We also support victims at court with the intervention order process and any criminal matters, and make sure they get help from referral agencies and that we charge offenders,’’ Sgt Walsh said.
Despite the obvious pitfalls of her role, Sgt Walsh takes it all in her stride.
‘‘Most of the time you’re seeing people at their worst so that sometimes can be difficult, but that also can be quite positive because you can influence that and try and make it a little bit easier for them,’’ she said.
‘‘Yes, some of the jobs aren’t particularly nice, but you get in to work mode and it doesn’t affect you as much, and you get a lot of support in the jobs you do.
‘‘Every day is different. One day can be really bad and the next day will be different, and you won’t be dealing with the same thing.’’
Friday marked 100 years since women were first permitted to join the police force.
The first two women were appointed as agents in Victoria Police on July 28, 1917, however, they received half the pay of policemen and had no arrest powers.
But times have certainly changed, and Sgt Walsh can’t speak highly enough of the flexibility and work-life balance of a police member, and encouraged other women to consider joining the ranks.
‘‘It’s so flexible and it’s really good for family life,’’ Sgt Walsh said.
‘‘You can even do part-time hours, between you and your boss you can usually come up with a roster that not only suits the station but also suits you, so you can cater for childcare and things like that.
‘‘I’ve loved having the ability to do shift work because it’s meant I can get to my children’s school sports and I can do reading at school and things like that.
‘‘The flexibility and the work-life balance are amazing, but the experiences it can give you and the people that you get to meet and the people you get to help really do make it a fantastic job.
‘‘In the police force you can do anything that you want to do, it’s only me holding me back.’’