Meet Police Auxiliary Officer Fiona Stewart. She joined the WA Police Force in 1978 when she was just 22 years old and has now been employed by the WA Police Force for 38 years.
Fiona first joined as a police staff member and was a typist at Criminal Records and Lecturing Branch. She was responsible for typing up the criminal histories of offenders on an old FACIT typewriter using carbon paper.
When she was 23, whilst employed as a typist with the WA Police Force, Fiona applied to be a police officer. She completed the entrance exams at the time and shortly after, received a letter stating that she was not suitable.
In 1983 Fiona moved to the Fremantle Criminal Investigations Branch as a typist and receptionist. While she was based in Fremantle, the Fremantle Prison Riots were happening and it was also during the arrest of the Birnies – the husband and wife duo who were responsible for murdering a number of women during the 1980’s. As there were very few female officers working out of Fremantle at the time, she was often called upon to perform searches of females.
Every morning, there was a briefing session in the office and Fiona was responsible for preparing morning tea for the detectives – a pot of black tea and coffee were prepared with biscuits, coffee and milk laid out on the table. Once ready, she would announce over the PA system “teas ready” and the detectives would pile in.
After spending seven years at Fremantle, she moved on to become the Data Entry Officer at Criminal Intelligence where one of her roles was to perform name and vehicle checks for the covert units. Her code name during that time was “Flick”.
She returned to Fremantle Police Station and was their Customer Service Officer for 19 years. It was there that she had her first female Officer-In-Charge – Lyn Crew. In fact, it was here that she had an all-female supervisory staff with Pauline O’Meagher as the Acting Administration Sergeant.
Fiona felt like she needed a change and in 2012 she became a Police Auxiliary Officer. Currently, at the age of 61 years, she has no plans to retire. Her advice to young females within the WA Police Force is to have a go and always pursue your dreams. She has a lot of memories associated with the WA Police Force, fortunately the majority of them are good.
Police Auxiliary Officer Fiona Stewart is the Interception Officer at the Special Operations Application Unit within State Intelligence.