Aaron Thomas

When you are young, vulnerable and hanging out with the wrong crowd, the last thing you think you need is the voice of authority telling you what to do.

Aaron Thomas, a plain clothes police constable in Cairns, Far North Queensland has a strong interest in the welfare and safety of young people in trouble.

Growing up in Gordonvale, a small sugar cane suburb located south of Cairns, and a descendant of the Yidinji people of the Atherton Tableland area, Aaron found himself at cross-roads towards the end of his schooling.

"I saw advertisement in the local paper about Charles Sturt University looking for Indigenous students," he says.

Aaron enrolled and completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Bachelor of Justice (Policing), earning him a place with the Police Academy in Townsville.

"I think I always wanted to do something with Police and working with young people," he says.

After he was employed as a police officer he ended up working in the Child Protection area of the Queensland Police.

"My work with Queensland Police is about protecting kids," says Aaron.

"I feel good when I see some of the young ones branch out and show some talent, and get their lives on track."

He deals with young people who commit crimes and tries to prevent them from reoffending.

"I like hearing the success stories of the young ones when they grow up and finally get their lives on track."

Aaron is also involved with the 'Adopt-a-Cop' program at Cairns West State School.

"We teach the students about child safety and stranger danger," says Aaron, whose goal is become a detective in the Child Protection area.

Aaron offers a lot of advice to young people and encourages them to change their lives around.

"I tell them to believe in themselves and that there are so many opportunities out there for Indigenous youth," he says.

Aaron believes that young people should stop feeling sorry and realise that there are a lot of people who are willing to help.