Emma Jane Scott
It’s not until I’m wrapping up the interview that it comes out that Emma’s not a drinker. Not a hugely important detail, you might think, apart from the fact that she’s just completed a tour of the Bundaberg distillery.
“I did try molasses,” she says, and then pauses for effect. “Won’t be doing that again.”
Curiosity is what she’s got. A hunger for learning about the world. (As well as a strong sense of family – it was her cousins’ idea to do the tour, and she was happy to do so). Having just talked with her about her family, her history, and her plans for the future, it makes perfect sense.
Emma’s been with NSW Police Legacy for nearly ten years, after her father became sick and died when she was just sixteen years old. At the time, with twin brothers aged eleven years old, and her mother trying to cope with everything that was going on, the weight of Emma’s new responsibilities hit her heavily. “Mum even said she thought it was weird I didn’t cry at the funeral, but I just had to hold it together.”
Emma with her mother
Becoming almost a secondary parental figure to her two younger brothers, trying to deal with her own grief, and trying to adjust to their new circumstances while attempting to finish high school, all meant that Emma wasn’t able to take advantage of the outings and adventure camps that Police Legacy offer. Her brothers did, however, and loved them; loved being around other kids in similar circumstances who knew just what to say, and what not to say.
The help that she was able to take, however, came in the form of NSW Police Legacy education grants and scholarships. With that assistance (and, no doubt, a great deal of courage and determination) she made it through, and as we speak is hard at work on the physical fitness training required to be accepted into the NSW Police Academy.
With both a father and mother in the force, a career in policing was always on the cards for her. “It makes me super proud to think that they’ve both helped out in so many ways,” she says. As a kid, she just kind of thought that was what she was going to do. As an adult, that feeling has crystallised.
“It wasn’t until the last few years that it really just… I just feel a loyalty to them,” she says. “They’ve always been there in the big moments.” It’s a privilege to hear her speak with such genuine feeling about the NSW Police Force in this way. “Police Family” is a phrase we use all the time, and for Emma that’s exactly what it is.
I ask her if there’s any special areas of policing she’s thinking about getting into. “Highway Patrol,” she says, definitively. “I have a thing with bad drivers.” She’s seen a lot of horrible accidents, and feels like if she can help prevent even a few of them, that is time well spent.
Lately she’s also been valuing NSW Police Legacy for the stories she’s been getting from us. On the cusp of her own career in policing, she realised that she didn’t know much about her father’s career. She’s been finding out more about him, even the little things like where and when he worked in different locations – things that her mother, living her own busy life, can’t recall. “Whatever’s needed, they find out!” she says. “It’s great. I can’t speak highly enough of Legacy and all they do for people.”