Meet Santa Cardenia. Santa has been a WA Police Force staff member for 16 years having previously worked for the Department of Housing where she managed the department’s budget.
Santa is a Certified Practicing Accountant with a Bachelor of Business (Double Major in Accounting and Finance with a sub-major in Public Accounting – Taxation). Her post-graduate studies include a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and she is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Executive Leadership. “I bring a passion and drive to help support our frontline police officers to deliver an effective policing service to our community.”
She has had a 30 year career within the Public Sector but decided to move to the WA Police Force as she wanted to work in an agency that helped look after people in the community, especially those vulnerable and needing protection. Santa says that knowing what she does is contributing to frontline police officers protecting people in our community is the most rewarding part of her job.
In 2001, Santa commenced her career with the WA Police Force as a Financial Management Officer in the previously known Southern Region. In 2003, she took up the role of Executive Manager in Management Accounting and had a number of varied roles before gaining her current position as Chief Finance Officer in January 2014.
“As the WA Police Force Chief Finance Officer, I manage the agency’s budget. I ensure the executive and senior management are provided with rich information that enables the setting of the strategic direction of the agency. This includes working with portfolios to examine core functions, identifying efficiencies and evaluating opportunities to maximise effective and efficient value for money service delivery to the community.”
One of the challenging aspects of Santa’s job is gaining the trust of operational areas where they include the expertise of corporate services portfolios up front rather than at the end of processes.
One of her best memories was participating in a cross-agency working group to implement legislation on mandatory reporting of sexual child abuse and ensuring the WA Police Force was properly resourced to enable that legislation.
As a senior executive for the WA Police Force, Santa says that being a leader means bringing people together for a common purpose and driving that through everyday actions. “It is important to embrace diversity from different backgrounds and diversity in thinking, at all levels across the agency.”
“The agency is now more inclusive than it was when I first started in 2001. Police staff members are acknowledged for the expertise they bring to enable the operations of the WA Police Force. In the future I would hope to see an increase in the representation of women in policing from an operational and executive perspective.”
Santa Cardenia is currently the Chief Finance Officer for the WA Police Force.