Tears and reminiscing was the order of the day for Lorraine Jones’ farewell and it’s no wonder. Since she started in the NT Police in 1996 videos tapes have become extinct, Yothu Yindi were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, there’s more crocs than people in the Top End and blue is the colour of the day.
But change is not a foreign word for Lorraine who has tackled a range of careers prior to joining the Force. Who better to reminisce about her time with NTPol than the man that recruited and worked along side her, Superintendent Danny Bacon.
I met Lorraine at Timber Creek shortly after arriving in late 1994. She was working for the Ngaringman Aboriginal Corporation as the President - I stole her! Her brother Christopher Jones was also an ex-ACPO at Timber Creek. The Jones family have a long history in the Region and Tracker George was her Great Grandfather. Lorraine and I were town councillors together and we lobbied for the naming of the Road behind the Police Houses in honour of her Great Grandfather.
When the Timber Creek ACPO resigned I knew there was one person that would be great at the job. I had always been trying to encourage Lorraine to join and finally convinced her to apply.
There was never a hierarchy in Timber Creek and Lorraine was always part of the Team with myself and then Constable Ron Millar. We ran numerous patrols throughout the District and we would generally all share the patrol duties, conducting MVR / Firearm duties and waving the Police ‘flag’ for Timber Creek.
We were all proud of the Station and put a lot of work into the grounds of the Police Complex and took out the Tidy Towns Award for the Best Police Station in 1996. In the same year we took out the Territory Tidy Town Award for Timber Creek and Lorraine and I flew to Brisbane for the National Awards. (We lost to the Taswegians in the Town of Stanley but we had a great time and I don't think the other states knew what hit them when the NT Party came to town.)
Back then Yarralin Community was also part of our jurisdiction and we identified Joy Campbell and encouraged her to apply. She was successful and we were the only station to have two ACPO Positions and both were Female Officers. Training was a big thing and we conducted a number of courses with NTES and the NTFRS with volunteers in both Yarralin and Timber Creek. The training was a wonderful social event for the Community and most of our volunteer unit members were local indigenous community members.
Working with Lorraine, and watching her progress and develop in this organisation, is one of my career highlights.
She assisted me in the way I approached and Policed in remote communities and I felt lucky to have her share her experiences and cultural knowledge with me. Our Kids ran around together until the age of technology and then they sat around and watched TV or played games together. I am immensely proud of her achievements and I am sure she still has a lot to achieve in her personal and professional life. Her resignation to start a career change in teaching is another chapter for her.
The Organisation may have lost a Good Officer (for now), but it has not lost a friend and those that have the opportunity to drop out to Timber Creek will always find a friend in her.
Lorraine also wanted to send a message out to her fellow Police, Fire and Emergency comrades.
“I have had so many mentors and great people working alongside me. I’ve definitely learnt something new everyday. I would like to thank those who have supported me for 16 years in Police. You guys have given me a shoulder to lean on, mentored me through rough times and encouraged me to study.
The NT Police Force helped me grow into a better and stronger cultural woman. I have been able to share all of my cultural knowledge with my work colleagues. It’s been an incredible career!”