I first spoke with Caitlin in early 2018, ten weeks into her training at the Police Academy in Goulburn. At the time she was taking it very much day by day, learning all there was to learn and loving the experience. Three and a half years later, Constable Caitlin Robinson is settling into her new house (quite literally, with settlement just closed on her new home), her new job, and her new town of Wagga Wagga, where she’s been stationed since January.
So how’s it all going? “It’s good,” she says. “A very different lifestyle.” A Sydneysider born and bred, it’s quite a change of pace living in a country town, albeit NSW’s largest inland city. And it definitely changes the kind of jobs she has to respond to. In town she was used to “dealing with drunks outside nightclubs” – in Wagga she says it’s more likely you’ll be helping somebody out.
She appreciates the community-based feel of the place, even if she’s well aware that it’s going to take her some time to become accepted by the locals. Something else she appreciates is how much easier they’ve had it than Sydney in terms of Covid restrictions. She’s just said goodbye to her Mum, who was allowed to visit her for the first time in six months.
Caitlin stops to chat with a friendly local
And how about police work? “It’s amazing how much the policing world changes your perspective,” she says. “You really grow up a lot quicker.” I have no doubt that’s true. She started work as a Probationary Constable at just 21 years old, and I suspect she’s now seen a lot more of life than many 24-year-olds have.
She laughs – a lot – when I ask her what the most surprising part of her job is. “There’s just so many,” she says eventually, tactfully not naming names or revealing details. “But it’s definitely a fun job. Every day is different.”
When I ask her about plans for the future, it’s clear I’m talking to the same Caitlin I spoke with three years ago. She might go for sergeant eventually, she might stay in Wagga after her tenure is up, she might move on to somewhere else. She is still very much going with the flow – an admirable trait in a rigid world.
One thing she is definite about, however, is how much Police Legacy shaped her life. When her father, Sergeant Greg Robinson, died in 2010, “Legacy was just there… I don’t think I’d be a cop without Legacy.” A lot of her Wagga Wagga colleagues know her story, but she loves telling them about how much Police Legacy helped her out as a kid. “Most of them know about it,” she says, “But they’re not really aware of the nitty gritty. The kids’ camps, and the way you guys are there to help out.” She’d like to get back to volunteer for a camp, when her schedule allows her, as she knows firsthand how important it is to have role models that the younger kids can relate to.
We love that you’re out there spreading the word for us, Caitlin, and we’re sure you’ll continue to excel – whichever way the river of your life takes you!