Joe Northover talks about his work as a police officer and school teacher
Joe Northover: Oh yeah. I was in the Police Force for a lot of years. I was stationed here at Collie and Brunswick Junction, Bunbury. It was good actually. I liked it. I liked it.
And because I grow up in the town, I actually taught here too. I was teaching for nine years here.
Denise Cook: What did you teach?
Joe Northover: I taught Aboriginal Studies, Language and English.
Denise Cook: Whereabouts?
Joe Northover: At the High School and at Wilson Park.
Denise Cook: What’s Wilson Park?
Joe Northover: A Primary School. So you see all these kids coming up, growing up and that and then you come back as a policeman and the one’s you taught you’re arresting now and charging them or giving fines out. But that was good, there was still respect there, there was a lot of respect. And Noongars they still respect you too. They’ll say, “no you’ve got your job to do”. They like the idea of a blackfellow policeman. A Noongar.
Denise Cook: What was your rank in the Police Force?
Joe Northover: First Class.
Denise Cook: Constable?
Joe Northover: Yeah. And then I got my second hook when I was leaving. I got my senior constable when I left. I went to Europe where I lived for a while. Holidaying they reckon but I liked it over there. It was nice.
Denise Cook: And then you were saying you had to stop working because of your health. Do you want to just briefly say –
Joe Northover: I had two heart attacks then the last one nearly killed me so the doctor said “you can’t work no more Joe”. He said to me “if you work you are going to kill yourself. You’re only a young man.” So I took the doctor’s advice and it was retirement and I got the pension then. So they pensioned me off.
From: Joe Northover, interview for South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, 31 July 2008
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Note: In some cases the written transcript has been edited with permission from the person interviewed and may differ slightly from the audio recording.
Permission to use this audio recording kindly granted by Joe Northover