Indian police officer keen to break down misconceptions
A CONVERSATION with an officer while working at a Brisbane car wash inspired Gurbhej Sran to join the Queensland Police Service.
He is now Blackbutt's newest police sergeant, and is already loving life in the South Burnett.
"I have been here one week and half the town already knows me,” Sgt Sran said.
"I am an immigrant and I wanted to learn more about Australia, so that is why I wanted to go to the countryside.”
"Also, I used to visit my friend in Yarraman and I had been through the town quite a few times, so I knew it was going to be nice.”
Since migrating from India in 2016, Sgt Sran has adopted the name Gary to make life easier for his Australian mates.
He is looking forward to using his position in the police service to educate the community about his Sikh faith and his reasons for wearing a turban.
"People sometimes look at you and have misconceptions, but being in the police uniform gives me a chance to educate those people,” Sgt Sran said.
Despite having a double degree in maths and French, and being fluent in English, French, Hindi and Punjabi, Sgt Sran struggled to find a job when he first landed in Brisbane.
Once he was accepted to the police service, he quit his job and hit the gym for two months to prepare for the physical demands of the role.
He then spent seven months at the police academy, which included a stint at the Commonwealth Games, before he started his first posting in Caboolture.
Sgt Sran said his time in Caboolture was a great learning curve that gave him a better grasp on Aussie slang.
While India may seem like a different world to Blackbutt, Sgt Sran said he grew up in the country and loved being in wide open spaces.
"The best thing about being in Blackbutt is being in the countryside, but also being on highway,” he said.