Sergeant Amit Singh from Camooweal Police travelled to Alpurrurulam to talk to locals about respect and law enforcement.
Alpurrurulam, located 170 km south-west of Camooweal, is an indigenous community in the Northern Territory and has a population of 500.
About 40 men attended the men's meeting conducted by Michael Liddle from Desert Knowledge Precinct (DKA). This meeting was conducted to give the Indigenous men in Alpurrurulam direction and guidance as to what it means to be a man.
Sergeant Singh explained to the men that police were not there to just lock people up.
"They are there to keep everyone safe and help the community members," Sgt Singh said.
"Arresting someone is the last resort."
Sergeant Singh told the men that police need the help of the community members to be able to do their job effectively. Sergeant Singh also told the men that alcohol and drugs were causing a lot of issues in the community and it needs to stop.
"They need to embrace their culture, health and fitness and eat bush tucker and become role models for the community," Sgt Singh said.
Sergeant Singh was asked by the men why police carry weapons, and to that he replied, "they are policeman's tools in order to do their duties."
"It's like mechanics need tools in order to fix cars. Without tools he can't fix cars as a result he can't do his job," he said.
The Elders of Alpurrurulam and the lore man shared their stories and gave the men some wisdom on how to stay away from trouble. One lore man said his father told him to follow the path he showed him and said you follow this path you will never get in trouble.
The lore man said "I am over 60 years of age and never been to jail."
He said his secret is he took on board what his father told him and embraced his culture and traditions. The lore man and Elders also said they would like to see their people embrace the aboriginal culture and traditional values and respect law and order.
Sergeant Singh, traditional elders and the lore man shared stories to break down barriers and formed partnerships to educate and empower indigenous men to follow the right path in life.
Sergeant Singh was given the honour of listening to ceremonial songs and the lore man explained what that meant and how everyone was connected to the land through dream time songs and stories.
Sergeant Singh was very grateful to be given the opportunity to learn one of the oldest cultures and traditions.
"This experience has forever made a big impression on me, as police do not get invited to things like this," he said.
Sergeant Singh told the men just remember this simple message; respect it, don't break it.
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