Four women from Estevan recently attended the International Association of Women Police Conference held in Calgary during August 26 - 30. 

"Amazing," shared Cst Danielle Stephany from the Estevan Police Service. "It was an amazing experience."

"Not only inspirational but it was an amazing way to learn from other police officers around the world - the challenges they face and how they overcome some of their issues and solve their issues. It was a great networking environment as well."

Stephany was joined by Cst Michelle Pickering, Special Constable Katia Bigney, and Court Liaison Assistant Fern Thiessen among delegates from 36 countries around the world. 

"It was a conference on Leading Change. Everybody always complains about change and how it can be good or bad but I think the biggest thing I left with from the weekend was not to see change necessarily as a bad thing but to see it as an opportunity."

"The five C's to success was another thing that really stuck with me. Commitment, communication, common sense or critical thinking, compassion, and community. All things that I think I'm really going to take into my career and apply them to what I'm doing today."

As well, delegates were treated to a number of great speakers along with the keynote speakers: Amanda Lindhout, Sheldon Kennedy, Chief Jennifer Evans, and Caroline Ouelette.

"I think the one that touched me the most was Amanda Lindhout. She was a freelance journalist who was captured by Somalians for 460 days. It was an absolutely amazing presentation. Sheldon Kennedy as well came and spoke about his struggles. There were so many good things to take from, plus all the individual breakout sessions that you could attend."

She added the knowledge that was shared in those sessions was of great value. 

"It's an amazing experience to be there among so many female police officers. But it's police officers who don't necessarily want to be recognized for being females in a male-driven industry, but just police officers that want to be recognized for what they contribute, what they bring to police, to their job as a person."

"One of the keynote speakers, Chief Jennifer Evans, she's the police chief for Peel Regional Police in Toronto, when she was first appointed, somebody asked her, "What does it feel like to be the first female police chief?" And she said, "Well, I've been a female my entire life, I'll let you know about the chief part." So it's interesting to be with other people who just want to progress and be recognized for what they contribute, not necessarily because they are female."

Next year's conference will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. 

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