Calming troubled waters
CROWD control expert Rebecca Couch expects to be calling on her negotiating skills to smooth the way for local Aborigines who find themselves in trouble with the law.
The mother of two yesterday put aside her security officer's uniform to take up her new part-time post as Tweed's first female Aboriginal liaison officer.
She will specialise in issues impacting on female members of the community and help lighten the work- load of Tweed's long-serving male liaison officer, Geoff Togo.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge and the chance to help fellow Aborigines," said Ms Couch, who will initially work two days a week.
Her appointment was negotiated between the TweedByron Aboriginal Land Council and senior members of the Tweed-Byron police command and is expected to eventually lead to a full-time position.
Land council chairman Russell Logan said Ms Couch grew up among local Aborigines and was a well-known face in the community.
He said her role would be broad-ranging, from helping steer people through the court system to intervening in domestic violence situations.
She would also assist police in culturally sensitive issues as well as being involved in crime prevention and education pro- grams.
"This command is the only one in NSW which has both male and female liaison officers and we see it as an important pilot," Mr Logan said.
"Ms Couch will also be working with young at-risk females to help them stay on the rails.
"Although her role will involve working for just a few days a week we think she will soon be able to show that the job warrants a full-time position."