The Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program is a demand-led initiative focused on expanding employment outcomes for people from African-Australian, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and refugee backgrounds into Victoria Police.

It takes a collaborative approach, with cross-sector support from seven organisations convened by Africause (previously the African-Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Services).

"For the police force to be effective, it must truly reflect all parts of the community which it serves.”
- Superintendent Mark Porter

As of December 2019, Victoria Police had over 21,399 members. Fewer than two in every 1000 police officers come from non-English–speaking African communities.

This program – the only one of its kind in Australia – is proactively addressing this imbalance. 

Read the most recent community update

Strong industry partnerships

The program was initiated when VU was approached by Africause to join with Victoria Police and other organisations, including:

  • Jesuit Social Services
  • AMES Australia
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • Matchworks.

It aims to find ways of addressing the identified problem of the barriers to recruitment to Victoria Police for African-Australians.

There are specific barriers that disadvantage these groups for entry into employment generally, and Victoria Police in particular. The barriers include language and numeracy skills, affordability, different cultural understandings, fitness and swimming capability. 

The objective of this program is to build the skills and attributes of potential recruits, to increase the proportion of people from African and refugee backgrounds in Victoria Police.

Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program

Sergeant Regina Todorova discusses the importance of representation in Victoria Police


Five course graduates are now in the Police Academy

More than 80 African-Australian program participants

40% of the participants have passed the police entrance exam

Four graduates have passed all of the recruitment stages for the PSO role in Victoria Police

52% of the program participants continue on their recruitment journey

All participants have become competent swimmers. More than 20 had never learned to swim – until now!

  • Course accreditation in late 2019 has provided the opportunity for participants to graduate with up to seven Certificate III units, including Community Services, First Aid, Swimming, Personal Fitness and Language, Literacy and Numeracy.
  • There has been a 100% success rate in swimming and fitness at the test stage of recruitment.
  • Ten participants who were unable to meet the rigorous Victoria Police application requirements are currently being supported by VU and Jesuit Social Services (JSS), to find alternative education or employment pathways.