Alida Scott (nee Morgan)
Meet Alida Scott (nee Morgan). She was one of the first female cadets employed by WA Police in February 1977 after she had just finished school.
Alida was an elite competitive gymnast involved with the Morley Police & Community Youth Centre (PCYC) when they asked her if she would consider being a police officer. “Being asked to join as a cadet was new territory – not only for us but also for WA Police as we were the first females. We were received with mixed emotions, not just from the male officers but also from the women. We felt that were in constant competition to prove ourselves both in the academy and then once out as an officer. We were often seen as the soft side of policing, the pin up person.”
While Alida and Denise Clements (nee Satie) were the first two female cadets, they were employed during the time that female police officers were now permitted to wear uniforms and so cadets also wore the same light blue dress in summer and navy blue dress in winter.
As a cadet, Alida started in Criminal Records for a short time before becoming the first female to work in the Forensic Fingerprint Section. “I loved working in Forensics as I learnt so many interesting things and got opportunities that a lot of other cadets wouldn’t have.”
When she turned 18, she applied to become a police officer and graduated in Recruit School 3/1978. She started in general duties before moving to the PCYC Head Office where she assisted in promoting sports to young females and started the first PCYC Academy of Gymnastics. “The PCYC family were incredible and I got to travel and visit them all in various regional locations.”
After several years with PCYC, Alida returned to general duties which involved guard duty outside of Government House and was then a court orderly at the Beaufort Street Court.
The most significant change that Alida saw during her career was the change in uniform for female police officers. “It’s great to see that the world has changed and females have been given more opportunities to develop outside of policing and bring those skills in.”
After leaving WA Police, Alida had two children (who are now having children of their own) and is still married to a police officer – who she met when they worked together in regional WA. She continued to coach gymnastics and had several high profile jobs within the gymnastics community in both WA and Australia.
Alida is currently the Director of Coaching at a large metropolitan gymnastics club and manages 50 coaching staff. “The most rewarding aspect of my career with WA Police was the police family – everyone had your back no matter what. After 32 years outside of the job, I still feel like I’m part of the family”.