RMIT Vietnam NewsEmpowering women in police leadership

Empowering women in police leadership

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 10:19
Dr Kiran Bedi addressing ARLEMP participants.
ARLEMP participants with Dr Kiran Bedi.
Dr Kiran Bedi signing her book I Dare! for an ARLEMP participant.

RMIT Vietnam recently facilitated the program Women in Police Leadership as part of the 38th Asian Region Law Enforcement Management Program (ARLEMP) and on behalf of the Australian Federal Police.

The ten day program in Hanoi included a presentation by Dr Kiran Bedi, known by many as ‘India’s first female police officer’.

Dr Bedi, now retired, joined the Indian Police Service in 1972 and remains one of the most highly ranked female officers in the country.

Her presentation as part of ARLEMP began with a screening of the most salient events in her career and life through a vivid and informative documentary produced by Australian filmmaker Megan Doneman titled Kiran Bedi: Yes Madam, Sir.

The biopic was a powerful opening and attracted the applause, laughs and tears of participants, by seeing Dr Bedi’s ups and downs in the Indian Police Service were she left a legacy as a transformational leader but where she also had to fight with the status quo.

After the screening, Dr Bedi and course participants interacted in an intense question and answer session.

Dr Bedi shared the key message of ‘be clear on who you want to be’.

“It’s also about energy management and the ability to focus on the things where you can bring value,” Dr Bedi said, who lives a very intense professional life, also achieving a doctorate while working.

She shared with participants her secret for success summarised in a formula of three Ms:

1) Mastery: “Master professional and personal skills, such as energy management.”

2) Member: “Be part of the community.”

3) Meaning: “Find a higher purpose in what you are doing.”

Dr Bedi shared an example when she was inspector-general at a large penitentiary where she brought profound reforms.

“At that time, I was not there to simply run a prison,” Dr Bedi said.

“My purpose was to make sure people leaving the prison would not come back.

“Finding purpose is key to leadership,” she said. 

The session ended with an emotional and heartfelt thank you from the ARLEMP participants to Dr Bedi for her openness and for calling them ‘her daughters’.

ARLEMP is a long-term partnership between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security through the General Department of Police (GDP), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and RMIT University in Vietnam.

The Women in Police Leadership program saw twenty-two female police officers attend from across Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

The 38th ARLEMP was fully funded by the Australian Embassy in Hanoi’s Economic Diplomacy Fund in partnership with the Australia – Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP).