Senior Constable Sarah Grayson may have grown up in a big coastal town in England; but the now Charleville-based cop is making her mark in the Queensland bush.
Snr Const Grayson took out the Woman of the Year award at the QRRRWN (Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network) gala dinner, after also being awarded the Professional Woman of the Year award.
Since moving to Australia 11 years ago after working in the England police force for 15 years, Snr Const Grayson slipped briefly into a role with the Queensland Police Service in Brisbane before heading to Aurukun and Cape York, and eventually Charleville.
She said in England she worked predominantly as a detective and has had a very broad range of policing jobs, including working in London for the anti-terrorism branch before moving to Queensland.
“It was from one extreme to the other,” she laughed.
“I’ve had a very good policing career, with opportunities to do a lot of things, but I guess if you work hard you reap the rewards.”
Snr Const Grayson has two children, Theo, 11, and Elleigh, 6, who she had while stationed in Aurukun; something which was definitely a challenge due to the remoteness of the station.
“I've got very fond memories of being up there,” she said.
“It is a violent place but there are some wonderful people up there.”
As for her slew of wins at the QRRRWN conference last week, Snr Const Grayson said it was all a shock.
It’s not that you go and do things to receive accolades, but it is nice to see that things are being acknowledged that we do work hard out here in the bush.
After being told she had been nominated for awards, she said she was soon notified she was a finalist, and was off to the conference in Emerald.
“They sure know how to put on a good conference that's for sure,” she said.
“There was some very good workshops and some excellent guest speakers, with lots of networking.”
As someone who prides herself on being very involved with her local community, Snr Const Grayson said it was “incredibly humbling” to walk away with not one, but two awards.
“It’s not that you go and do things to receive accolades, but it is nice to see that things are being acknowledged that we do work hard out here in the bush,” she said.
“The success of all those things really does come down to people supporting what you’re doing.”
As for living so far away from home with her small family, Snr Const Grayson said she does get homesick and is regularly on the phone to her mum – but said living in Charleville came with a great support network of friends.
She and the kids are heading back to England for Christmas, but she said she wouldn’t trade in her Australian lifestyle.
“I just love the bush and the outback, I never get tired of the big open landscapes,” she said.
See photos from the QRRRWN gala dinner here
See photos from the QRRRWN opening night here
The story From London anti-terrorism cop to QRRRWN’s Woman of the Year first appeared on Queensland Country Life.