On the Frontline
Griffith University alumnus
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM wanted to be a community cop when she started her policing career but instead, she rose through the ranks becoming a trailblazer for women in the male-dominated police and fire services.
In her early career as a police officer, Commissioner Carroll was a detective in high-profile units like the drug squad, criminal investigation unit and organised crime taskforce.
Later, she would become the first mother to be appointed Assistant Commissioner in the Queensland Police Service and the fourth woman.
Her distinguished policing career also saw Commissioner Carroll lead Queensland’s security efforts at the 2014 Brisbane G20 summit.
“…I think wherever you go you should make sure that you leave a legacy that you have made the organisation a better place…” she said.
At QFES, Commissioner Carroll said her greatest inspiration was her people and serving the community.
“One of my greatest joys is being a leader of a fantastic group of people,” she said.
“When I look at the hours they do and why they do it and how they cope in different environments…I literally have people in dangerous situations trying to save others.
“It goes to a whole new level, they put their life on the line for the sake of others and it makes me extraordinarily proud.”
An impressive alumnus, Commissioner Carroll was named Griffith University’s Outstanding Alumnus Award winner 2018.
“I’m a lifelong learner and a lot of that has been done through Griffith. Education influences your life personally and professionally and Griffith has certainly done that for me.”
For Commissioner Carroll, her connection to the university has been important.
“I did a criminal justice course with a group of police colleagues in the ‘90s. It was wonderful, we went to lectures together, studied together and went through the course together,” she said.
“It was a real connection with the group and the university. I loved the atmosphere and found staff were willing to go the extra mile.”