Manning River Times: Let’s all choose to challenge

Jillian Oliver, Christine George and Sue Bromhead.

Photo: Jillian Oliver, Christine George and Sue Bromhead.

Manning Great Police District chief inspector, Christine George faced many male prejudices on her journey to become the area’s top ranking female officer.

But, these small hurdles only made her a more determined, stronger and committed police officer.ADVERTISING

For close to two decades she was ‘shadowed’ by a male officer who made it clear from the start that: “women should not be in this job”.

But, the young police officer was not going to be bullied or harassed by anyone, and certainly not an old fashioned male she described as a ‘dinosaur’.

“I will never rock in a corner because some man tried to bully me,” she said.

I will never rock in a corner because some man tried to bully me.Christine George

Christine George has been promoted through merit and her ability to be a good police officer.

Inspector George was giving a brief outline of her professional and personal life before a capacity audience during this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, hosted by Forster Tuncurry Quota Club.

This year’s theme, Choose to Challenge is a topic Insp George is well versed in.

Born and raised in Taree she began her policing career in the early 1990s at a time when the class ratio was 27 men to three women.+11

Although initially unsure if the police service was the right fit, Insp George had a naturally strong work ethic acquired from a life working on her parent’s mixed farm, sometimes hand feeding up to 30 calves at a time, preparing and parading cattle at local agriculture shows.

“I didn’t like school,” Insp George said.

“(But), dad told me I could not leave school until I got a job.”

She left at 15 and began training to become a hairdresser.

Christine enjoyed being a hairdresser, but it was mundane and wasn’t overly demanding.

She briefly toyed with the idea of joining the air force before being encouraged by a couple of coppers to explore the police service.

After completing her studies at the Goulburn Police Academy, Christine worked at a number of stations throughout Sydney earning her stripes through traditional means before returning to Taree as the district’s most senior female officer.

After former police officer, Jillian Oliver lost her right hand as a result of an injury during a workplace incident, she began using art as a means of recovery from depression and PTSD.

“It was such great therapy; it distracted me from my depression.”

Working through her recovery, Jillian was keen to share this form of therapy with other police officers, front line workers and military personnel, and in 2018 established Art and Soul Therapy Group, Wingham.

During the morning event a raffle $1000 raised was donated to the Wingham-based group.

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