Mount Isa-based Acting Sergeant Kyle Dennison is a long way from his birthplace.
"In early 2013, I was a young guy working in a bar in South Africa, unsure about my future. I had studied in Montreal, Canada and in Queensland and had my pilot's license while casually instructing firearms courses on the side," Kyle said.
Kyle hadn't found his passion and was going through the motions of figuring out his future. After a lot of reflection, he made the decision to join the police.
In South Africa, Kyle applied and was accepted, ready to train at the police academy. While waiting for a job offer, Kyle's mother invited him to visit Queensland on holidays, with the proviso he consider a career in policing in Australia. Kyle went to the QPS recruiting office in Brisbane for information and an application form. Before returning to South Africa, Kyle made the leap and submitted the paperwork.
"Almost a month later, I received an email inviting me to take part in the initial testing and it was at this point that I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and hop on a plane bound for Australia, for good."
Kyle returned to Queensland the day before he was due to take his tests. Waking up the next morning jet lagged and barely able to understand the accents, Kyle recalls the written aspect being straightforward but the next test had him sick to the stomach.
The test is simple in theory - listen to a typical Aussie speak on a scratchy police radio and write down what's said.
"They played the recording once and it may as well have been in another language for all I knew because I didn't understand a single word." Kyle asked to hear the recording again, but this did little to help so he walked out of the test having written something down to fill the line, thinking he had ruined his chances of getting into the QPS. In his words, he had completely uprooted his life, and failed.
Nevertheless a few months later, Kyle's dream came true when he was invited to join the QPS Academy in Oxley.
After completing training, Kyle chose Mount Isa for initial placement. Kyle grew up in small mining towns in South Africa and was sold upon hearing about the extra experiences available to him in Mount Isa. Since then, Kyle can barely keep track of the adventures he's had.
"I've worked with some of the most amazing people in places like Burketown, Doomadgee, Normanton, Birdsville, Dajarra, Julia Creek and Camooweal."
One of Kyle's stand out moments was a joint emergency response exercise in 2017 at Phosphate Hill Mine. The exercise involved a simulated plane crash to test and train first responders from the QPS, QAS, QFES and the mine staff overseen by CASA.
"At the time, I was the acting 2IC for Dajarra Station and I couldn't believe my luck; it was one of the few times my love of aviation and policing were combined and I will remember the experience forever."
Kyle was at the Pioneer Police Beat for two years and now has of new challenges such as working in the Watchhouse and acting as the Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator for the Mount Isa District.
"Without question, one of my favourite things about the QPS is that there is a job for everyone, no matter where your interests are. Neither the QPS, Australia or Mount Isa have disappointed me and I'm excited everyday to see what new and exciting experiences will present."
After five years Kyle was eligible for citizenship and on Thursday April 11, Kyle was officially welcomed, along with four other Mount Isa residents, as new Australian citizens.
After the birth of his first child last year, deciding to become a citizen was an easy decision for Kyle and his fiancé, Constable Bianca Carloss. "I know Australia is where I want her to grow up."