Richard Monaei

My name is Richard Monaei. I am of the Meriam Le, Nguarapai, Kaurareg, and Mongoprang people.

Like everyone else in this world, I've had challenges to overcome in life. The separation of my parents was a tough thing to adjust to when I was only 14 years old. I lived and studied away from home, and I've experienced racial and cultural indifferences but I think one of my greatest challenges and achievements was becoming a father.

I've never been afraid to step forward in life, and this has led to opportunities and success. I believe you can learn from your failures and use them to attain success. I encourage all my indigenous brothers and sisters to "take that one step forward".

I am currently a senior recruiting officer in the Queensland Police Service (QPS) which works well for me because I am passionate about increasing Indigenous employment. Becoming a police officer has fulfilled a childhood dream for me. Since joining the QPS 16 years ago, I have been in the Specialist Response Branch and worked with the Indigenous Cadetship Program and also with the Crime and Misconduct Commission on the Restoring Order Report.

I hope to one day gain a senior executive policing role so I can create positive change on Indigenous and Multicultural issues across Queensland. As it stands, I hope that I am leading by example by being a proactive ambassador and advocate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I am proud to be an Indigenous Australian and my cultural heritage is strong; it forms my identity and highlights who I am in my professional career and community.

I encourage young Indigenous people to be strong and proud of their cultural heritage. Be the ambassador and advocate to your community and be the goal you set out to achieve.

DESCRIPTION: Photography by Tony Phillips, Profile Photographics.