SERGEANT HEATHER INNESTo study recent developments in overseas countries in respect of "The Enforcement of Moral Laws" - UK, Norway, Denmark
Heather grew up and was educated in Smithton. At 17 years she represented Australia in Melbourne at the 1956 Olympics as a javelin thrower. She also competed in the Australian Women’s Track & Field Championships in 1957-58.
Heather joined the Tasmanian Police Force in 1961. In 1984 Detective Inspector Innes, was the first women to head a drug bureau in Australia.She continued to rise through the ranks becoming only the second women to reach the rank of Inspector. Heather was the state’s only ‘Police Pilot’ assisting in Search & Rescue Missions. She received three commendations during her police career. She retired from the police force in 1989.
Heather spent time on her Fellowship in England, Scotland and Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Norway. She was keen to see what methods were being used to promote the keeping of moral laws, those related to child abuse, rape and child pornography.
Due to the complexity of issues she found that a revolving door situation is perpetuated and the lack of vision factor predominates.
FELLOWSHIP CONCLUSIONS & OUTCOMES
• Social morality is crucial to a well functioning society
• We have a duty and moral obligation to protect those less able to protect or speak for themselves
• Money restrictions stifle many implementations for change
• Different philosophies applied to the same problem exacerbate difficulties for change.
• The public frequently don’t understand apparent lack of action and appropriate solution.
• Lack of vision can stymie effective action
• At the time of the Fellowship these problems occurred in other countries and it was hoped that with better knowledge Australia could avoid some of the same pitfalls – sadly, this has not often been the case.
When Heather left the police force, she returned to her first love, that of flying and bought a little Cessna aeroplane to service remote communities on the islands of the north west. Shes says of the islands: “They’re touched by the hand of God. They have to be. It makes me feel just a dot in creation. And when I talk to pilots, when I teach young pilots, I say to them: ‘respect these places, respect the islands, respect the winds, they’re bigger than we are and they’ll get you if you’re not careful.’” And having said that I say to them: ‘Now go and enjoy flying there because that’s what makes good pilots.’
Heather Innes was awarded the Order of Australia in 1993 for her significant contribution to Australian life on the sporting field, in the police, and in the air.