Thursday, April 27, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

New Kids On The Block

Officer Natasha Marshall is no newcomer to youth support, traveling to Bowen PCYC from Rockhampton, to relieve holidaying Sergeant Michelle O’Regan.

However, she is not alone, bringing her nine-year-old Maremma cross Border Collie named Winston along for the ride.

“He loves it, he comes with me on the bus-run in the morning, picking up kids for school,” said Officer Marshall.

“They jump on and give him a hug and a pat. … He gets lots of pats from a lot of people every day.”

Back home in Rockhampton, Officer Marshall is a school-based police officer, in Rockhampton State High School.

“My role is a lot of education, educating around cyber safety, trying to keep kids safe on online,” she said.

In recent months, the Bowen PCYC has seen an upturn in community involvement in programs. This past week, 63 students caught the bus with Winston.

Fitter for Life, a movement group for over-40-year-olds, has seen 31 participants, with 25 children taking part in the Little N Active program.

Most impressive is the Friday skating initiative, where 150 children participated with Officer Marshall and Winston.

“I am impressed with Friday night skating. I put on my skates and get out there!” she said.

“I love the PCYC youth and community. Bringing people together, that’s what it’s all about. I’m learning a lot from Sergeant Michelle and If I ever get a position in a PCYC, she is someone I want to emulate.”

Although Winston is not a regular occurrence in the Bowen PCYC, he has welcomed the love and attention he has received from the children and other PCYC patrons. Officer Marshall looks forward to returning to the Bowen PCYC if offered the relief position again.

Officer Natasha Marshall and Winston welcomed into Bowen PCYC. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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