The Queensland Police Service’s It Gets Better video project, released last year, has won a prestigious public service award.
Last August, the QPS released the powerful video, which features around a dozen male and female officers from across the state sharing personal stories about their sexuality, their experiences of coming out, and their experiences being an LGBTI person in the force.
The video was launched on Wear it Purple Day last year and it quickly went viral, notching up more than 500,000 views on Facebook.
And this week the project won the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Leadership category, and was named runner-up for the overall Premier’s Award. The awards acknowledge work by individuals and teams in the Queensland public sector and recognise initiatives that benefit Queenslanders.
Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen from Fortitude Valley station is the coordinator of the QPS’ LGBTI Support Network, which was established in 2016 to provide internal support for LGBTI police officers. He said members of the network and the QPS’ LGBTI Liaison Program came together last year to create the It Gets Better video.
Bjarnesen said the goal of the project was to send a message to not only show the diversity of the Queensland Police Service but also send a message to young people that it’s okay for them to be who they are.
He said he was “so proud of the team and so happy that the project has had such a positive impact on people.”
Attended the @AnnastaciaMP Premiers Awards 4 Excellence & proud of @QldPolice nominees & partners. Particularly proud of our ‘It gets better’- LGTBI project who won Leadership award & runners up 4 Premiers Award. Congrats 2 all finalists. pic.twitter.com/W9I36kn1rY
— Ian Stewart (@CoPStewart) November 19, 2018
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan congratulated the team and said he was proud of the QPS LGBTI network’s work.
“These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts made by officers and identify those who go above and beyond to improve the service offered by the QPS,” he said in a statement.
(Top photo by Wendell Rosevear)