Police Inducted Into Queensland Indigenous Clan With Smoking Ceremony

Police in regional areas often talk about the importance of the law being accepted as an integral part of the community.

For officers stationed at Wujul Wujul, an Indigenous community in Queensland’s north, that sentiment has been taken to a new level.

They have been adopted into the Kuku-Yalanji clan, with two officers given traditional names and welcomed during a cleansing ceremony which included a traditional smoking.

Acting Sergeant John Melandri was given the name “Kwinyala” (Wedge-tailed Eagle) while retired Senior Constable Wil Devlin was named “Yindili” (Kingfisher). A third officer stationed at Wujul Wujul, Ben Tome, was also inducted into the clan.

Acting Sergeant Melandri believes the cultural integration helps policing the region.

“It’s a way of protection for the officers so they can go anywhere, speak to anyone … it’s sort of giving them permission to do their job without making a cultural faux pas,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean people respect me more, but it makes them feel more respected because I’m part of their community.”

Read the full article at WA Today.


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